Unlock Smiles

Apr 17, 2014

An Eventful Year Beginning !!

Dear Codreamers,

We are delighted to share with you the journey of Dream A Dream from the last quarter of the financial year 2013-14. We are also super exited to let you know that we are taking part in TCS World 10K Bangalore 2014, a biggest marathon in the city will be held on 18th May. With this report I would want to share with you the story of Shruthi (name changed) followed by a few highlights of our organization and programmes.

Meet Shruthi a 12 year old girl studying in the 6th grade at Shama Vidya Shaala, Bangalore. Shruthi has been part of the Dream Life Skills through Football Programme since August 2012.

According to the facilitator, Shruthi is a simple and well-spoken girl. She is regular participant and enjoys learning football and the various activities at the session. During one of the sessions that was themed around Communication and Building Relationships, the facilitator makes the following observation. “We started with a game of Handball. Shruthi was very enthusiastic and started off with lots of energy and excitement. In about 20-minutes, Shruthi seems to have lost interest in the activity and I didn’t notice that she had gone out of the group and sitting in one corner. When I noticed her missing, I realized she had stopped playing and went ahead to find out what happened. Shruthi shared that she was not getting the ball even though she tried and started weeping. I heard and validated her. At the end of the session, during reflection time, Shruthi shared how she felt unseen with the rest of her team-mates. I used that as an opportunity to also share a similar story from my life when I felt unseen and alone and everyone seemed to understand. Shruthi felt reassured and that story helped her feel positive about life.”

At Dream A Dream, our work with young people stands on the belief that when we engage with young people with care and empathy, they respond and learn. In above instance, the facilitator, created a safe space for Shruthi to share how she felt, the facilitator validated and acknowledged her emotions, built a personal connection with her and used this experience to share a personal story from her own life.

In Shruthi’s own words, “I like playing in the team especially playing against friends gives lots of confidence. I enjoy sessions because I get to play. By coming for football sessions I was able to perform well in my social studies, earlier I used to be poor in this subject after speaking to you (facilitator) and hearing to your story made biggest impact to do well in social studies and got good marks. Session makes it even more special by sports as a group.”

  • Dream A Dream, In association with Christ University organized the first ever conference on the “Life Skills Assessment Scale”. NGO heads, researchers, academicians and social work students made up the over 200 participants at the conference.
  • Dream A Dream invited to be a presenter at the Annual Idea Conference organized be LEGO Foundation in Billund, Denmark between 8th - 10th April 2014.
  • The Dream Rugby Team won second prize in the “Touch Me Not Rugby Tournament” organised by Karnataka Rugby Football Union. 5 boys and 1 girl from Dream A Dream participated in the match.
  • Dream A Dream planned and moderated a session on “Education – Evolving Role of Teachers” at the Annual Development Dialogue 2014, Hubli organized by Deshpande Foundation.
  • Engaged 5369 young people through our life skills through football and arts programme. This includes 2533 boys and 2836 ratio also 52.8% girls ratio.
  • 355 young people graduated from the core life skills programme in March 2014.
  • 36 Life Skills facilitators trained to deliver the curriculum based sessions.
  • Conducted a total of 16 camps engaging 562 young people for year 2013-14.
  • Dream Connect engaged 3179 young people in various skill development and career development courses in the Dream Connect Programme.1472 Male and 1707 Female were engaged in the programme.
  • Engaged 755 young people engages in Last Mile Support programme in year 2013-14.
  • Total job placement provided for 26 Dream Connect graduates in 2013-14.
  • 44 applications for scholarships have been received so far out of which 28 have been granted scholarships.
  • As part of the ‘Kalarava” initiative, 200 graduates were engaged in new learning exposures.
  • Engaged over 533 teachers / youth workers / facilitators in our 4-workshop Teacher Development Programme for the year 2013-14.
  • A team of 20 Lead facilitators deliver the training. Received 83.3% overall average rating of excellent/very good on the training from the participants.
  • Established 100 relationships in 2013-14 through 4 cycles of training and engagement.
  • Engaged 2214 volunteers and clocked 25,341 hours in 2013-14.
  • Conducted 56 fundays involving 17 corporates and 4 educational institutions engaging 1713 volunteers clocking 6654 hours in 2013-14.

We look forward to your continued support and enduring relationship. Thank You!!

With Gratitude,

Dream Team

Teacher Transformation Training
Teacher Transformation Training
Our CEO at Annual Idea Conference, LEGO Foundation
Our CEO at Annual Idea Conference, LEGO Foundation
Young People at a Sports Session
Young People at a Sports Session
Jan 17, 2014

Thank You - Smile Makers!!

Dear Co-dreamers,

We are happy to inform you that our Unlock Smiles campaign has come to a close in December 2013. Our heartfelt thank you for unlocking smiles of young people, your generous support helped us to unlock 6504 smiles by 796 people like you.

With this report I would want to share with you the story of Ashwini (name changed), from the words of our Life Skills Facilitator, Shivu followed by a few highlights of our Unlock Smiles Campaign. 

Meet Ashwini, studying in 7th Standard, who has been part of our Dream life skills programmes since the start of this year.

The Challenge: Academically, she is an average student but highly energetic in the classroom, is a good dancer and also involves herself in sports.

During the observation, it was found that she often teases boys, and hits them as well as uses abusive words towards them. But when the life skill sessions are happening, she appears to be quiet as well as shy but her energy goes up immensely, if there is an action song or games happening during the session. However the facilitator found her arguing with her class mates and using bad words, if she was asked to do something. She feels she is right and that the rest of them are wrong. This resulted in unwanted fights in the classroom.

The Change: During the session facilitator started to give her some responsibilities. At the beginning, he asked her to do an action song of the main activity which she liked to conduct. Later she was given responsibilities like distribution of materials that helped her to have at least an eye to eye contact with everyone and she slowly started to recognize everyone. It took almost a month to see some changes in her.

The facilitator was very happy to hear feedback from her class teachers and friends that she has become very active in all class room activities, raises her hand to answer questions and takes quick responsibilities in class. She even takes care of 1-3rd standard students in absence of teachers. She started accepting other students and thus everybody accepts her too.

Her friends said that they were scared to talk to Ashwini in the beginning and now it is different, they love her.

The Dream Power:  Facilitators play a key role within the Dream A Dream programmes. They create platforms for the young people in our programmes to face and overcome their challenges.

Major Highlights of Unlock Smiles:

  • Successfully unlocked 6504 smiles as against our initial target of 8000 smiles.
  • Smiles were unlocked in a variety of creative ways spread across several diverse events such as:
    • Tour De smiles - Tour de Smiles was an event organised for cycling enthusiasts to cycle for a cause on the 17th of October 2013. It attracted cyclists from across Bangalore who came to support the cause and unlock smiles. The event was organised in partnership with Decathlon who took care of the entire logistics for the event. Funds were raised through an entry of 12 smiles each. A total of 235 smiles were unlocked by 25 cyclists.
    • Trek de smiles - Owing to lack of poor marketing of the event it was not conducted as a part of the Unlock Smiles Campaign. Instead, the event was successfully run as a Volunteer Engagement Activity (Dream Funday) with 17 young people and 12 volunteers on the 7th of December 2013.
    • Soiree de Smiles - ‘Soiree de Smiles’ was Dream A Dream’s first exclusive fundraising evening, to encourage old HNI supporters to deepen their relationship with us and for potential supporters to get to know us better by becoming Smile Champions. Funds were raised through a minimum commitment of Rs.25000 to Unlock 100 smiles as an entry to the event. The event was conducted on the 22nd of December at Escape Hotels and Spa (Bricklane). There were a total of 9 donors who made pledges at the event. The event managed to unlock 1428 smiles.
    • Internal Employee Campaign - An internal campaign was run at Dream A Dream, to encourage employees to reach out to their personal networks and unlock smiles. 600 smiles unlocked with the support of employees from their personal networks.
    • School Fundraiser - ‘Forgo A Cracker’ was an initiative run by the Volunteer Engagement Team as a part of Unlock Smiles. It aimed at encouraging school students to campaign against the use of firecrackers (being a social and environmental hazard) and use that money to unlock smiles. This was run between 29th October to 10th November 2013 at NPS, Indiranagar and Oakridge International. A student from NPS Indiranagar also ran this campaign at her apartment complex, Vars Fantasy. 99 smiles were unlocked through Forgo A Cracker.
    • Campaigns at Corporates - Plan was put in place to run an ‘Unlock a Smile Day’ with 10 different companies. This involved a company dedicating one day to the campaign through e-mail blasts and encouraging their employees to unlock smiles. As a part of the Joy of Giving week, ‘First Source’ encouraged employees to donate and unlocked 761 smiles.
    • Social Media Promotions - Posts were updated on the Dream A Dream facebook page and e-mails were sent to the entire data base. 892 smiles unlocked through social media promotion.

With this campaign you have supported close to 542 young people to gain a year of life skills education. We acknowledge that this was possible because of the special people like you who have supported the dreams of these young people. Please scroll down to see a few pictures of the event. Thanks for YOUR continued support!

With Gratitude,

Dream Team

Oct 18, 2013

Every Smile- A new beginning!!

Children aspired to become a Superhero they drew!
Children aspired to become a Superhero they drew!

Dear Co-dreamers,

Every smile – A new beginning, a new reinforcement, gives a sense of self-worth, gives a sense of renewed spirit, etc. and the list can just go on.. 

It has been a great year so far, and I am excited to share with you that with the help of smiles you have unlocked last year through our "Unlock Smiles Campaign" has supported us in reaching out to 4349 young people through our direct delivery Life Skills Programmes that use the media of arts, sports, and outdoor experiential camps!

Thank YOU for without YOUR support this would not have been possible. This time around we have launched our campaign again, and have set out to unlock 8000 smiles which will help us reach out to many more young people through our Life Skills programmes.

It makes us happy and reinforces our faith and belief in the work we do when we hear quotes from children and teachers like the ones below:

“Nowadays, I am doing my homework and finishing my work in class. I am no longer teasing others and not being scolded in class. I have left my bad habits. I have learned how to draw from Dream A Dream. Recently, I won a prize in drawing and clay modelling” – Lokesh (name changed)

“In initial sessions, I did not talk with anyone.  Now I am talking with everyone. In Dream A Dream, I am happy enjoying with everyone and my friends.” – Manjula (name changed)

“There is a lot of change in their behaviour, such as they have overcome fear and shyness. They have cultivated self- confidence, self-reliance, creativity, initiative, free to express their own ideas and feelings. Also we can see happiness in their faces.” - Head Mistress, Stella Mary School (Our partner School)

“Dream A Dream – a wonderful experience to our children to realise self-confidence and self-motivation.  It gave many opportunities to the young people to expose themselves to a new world of ‘Life Skills’ which most of them were not aware of it.  Heartfelt thanks from all of us, particularly from our children side to ‘Dream A Dream” - Head Master, Mt. Everest School (Our Partner School)

It is inspiring to see how young people, when consistently given opportunities to explore themselves, push the boundaries of their own comfort zone, try new things, and make mistakes; they start learning to build confidence, endurance, empathy, self-reliance and many other skills and make it a part of themselves which will prepare them to face the life’s challenges.

We invite you to continue this journey with us on empowering young people to go for their Dreams and through it build the world that we always wish to see by UNLOCKING SMILES and spreading the word through your networks to unlock many more SMILES!!! on www.unlocksmiles.com. The key to unlocking a smile is a simple donation of $10 or Rs. 250/- which will see 2 young people through an entire month of Life Skills Programmes and takes these youg people closer to their Dreams of leading a wholesome life and making healthy choices.

Please scroll down to see a few pictures from our programmes with the smiles on these faces already unlocked thanks to YOUR continued support!

With Gratitude,

Dream Team

Note:  If you have friends in Bangalore who love cycling, please refer them to be part of one of our awesomest campaign called "Tour de Smiles" happening on November 17th, as part of the bigger Unlock Smiles campaign.  To get a glimpse of how the event was last year, and for more details on how to register this year do visit our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TourDeSmiles

Creativity is the muscle that we exercise the most
Creativity is the muscle that we exercise the most
Many lessons of life are learnt while having FUN!!
Many lessons of life are learnt while having FUN!!
Learnings follow with a Celebration!!
Learnings follow with a Celebration!!
Jul 16, 2013

A wonderful start to the year!!

Welcoming young adults to camp Dream A Dream Way
Welcoming young adults to camp Dream A Dream Way

Dear Co-Dreamers,

We have kick started our core programmes for this year and there is excitement all around and its raining highlights.  Special thanks to all of you for being a tremendous support in helping us continue our programmes.

With this update we would want to share with you story of Parvathi (name changed), who was part of Dream Life Skills Program,

Meet Parvathi, a 13-year-old, who has been part of our Life skills through Creative Arts Programme since the last 4 years.  Her father is a construction worker and her mother is a tailor.

The Challenge:  Parvathi was not very interested in attending the Creative Arts sessions, would not interact with anyone, especially the male facilitators and boys.  She would just interact with girls and most of the time would keep to herself due to some family issues in spite of efforts from the facilitator in explaining to her the consequences of not sharing and the benefits of interacting with others.  The facilitator started trying to make her feel comfortable by saying Hi to her on every session, asking her questions, and slowly making more and more effort to reach out to her and talk.

The Change:  After spending 4 years in Dream Life Skills Through Creative Arts programme; at the sessions now, she is more engaged and has learned to take strong decisions and has developed interest in creative arts.  She is now more interactive with everyone to include boys and more willing to express what she has learned freely.

Her dream is to become an art teacher.  Facilitator says, "she is naturally gifted at teaching."  She spends her free time teaching her friends and family various art skills and projects.  Parvathi has made a blackboard at home using materials her father had brought home to teach the neighborhood children.  She has now built her skills to teach and conducts classes at home.

The Dream Power:  “In the classroom, Parvathi is more talkative in class, which has actually become a problem for the teacher who has to control her at times. However, she is a very hard working student and is considered the class leader. When her teacher is busy, Parvathi is asked by her teacher to handle the class for 10-15 minutes on her own.  Partivthi is capable and willing to take on this leadership responsibility.” – Parvathi’s teacher

Organization and Programme Updates and Highlights (April 2013 – July 2013):

  1. 2016 young people are enrolled in our life skills programmes – 847 in Life skills through football and 1169 in Life skills through Arts.
  2. 32 Life Skills facilitators are trained to deliver the curriculum based life skill sessions to help deepen the impact of the programs.
  3. 70 young people and 15 volunteers were part of 2 Outdoor Experiential Camps for this year.
  4. 336 young adults were benefited through our Life Skills for Career Development training at our Dream Connect Centre, which offers the tools and foundational life skills necessary for career development.  Teaching them Basic computer skills, English speaking, workplace readiness, career guidance, and career talks.  83% of them completed the course.  We are also happy to share with you that one of our young adult have successfully completed his training at Barathi Walmart and now works with Life Style.
  5. 19 volunteers were trained to be Mentors and 12 have been matched with their mentee’s already.
  6. 90 volunteers have been engaged clocking over 3165 volunteers hours.
  7. Teacher Development Workshop was delivered to 58 teachers from 2 of our partner schools with focus on Life Skills Facilitation.  The programme aims to train teachers and community workers to facilitate the development of Life Skills amongst young people in their own schools and regions. The workshops in particular are focused on enabling adults to deepen the understanding of self and young people.  A teacher says "I have learnt to listen to others and respect what they have to say" and going forward when I am teaching "I would guide the child rather than preach or force them to follow right path by giving them options."
  8. Vishal Talreja, Co-founder and Executive Director of Dream A Dream was on a 2-month learning and inspirational journey through the Eisenhower Fellowship programme, U.S.  Know more about his trip; visit his facebook page- Dreamer on the Go - Vishal Talreja 
  9. Suchetha Bhat, COO and Bopanna Pattada, Lead Trainer from Dream A Dream are learning, sharing and Co-creating the Creative Community Model at the first ever global gathering of Social Artists and Facilitators hosted by our partners PYE Global - Partnership for Youth Empowerment at Whidbey Island, United States of America. They will also be co-facilitating and volunteering at a youth camp hosted by PYE. We are proud to be partners with PYE and look forward to excellent learnings coming back to us as we deepen our own Teacher Development & Life Skills Model.
  10. Dream A Dream has been shortlisted in top 12 NGOs (medium category) in the India NGO Award 2013 and assessment process is to happen shortly to decide the winner.

We look forward to your continued support and enduring relationship!

Thank You!!

At the Teacher Development Workshop :-)
At the Teacher Development Workshop :-)
Apr 18, 2013

Thank you for Unlocking Smiles!!

A Million Dollar Smile!
A Million Dollar Smile!

Dear Patrons/Volunteers/Supporters,

"We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do." ~ Mother Theresa

It has been a great pleasure to have been associated with you through The “Unlock Smiles” campaign initiated by Dream A Dream.  Through this campaign we have been able to unlock 4667 smiles translating to a fund inflow of Rs. 9,33,400/-. This supports the life skills education of 389 young people for an entire year. We have had several feelings throughout this journey – inspiration, difficulty, happiness , optimistic, amazed, overjoyed, rewarding, ecstatic, thankful, spirited, touched, perplexed, courageous, loved and plenty more.

We take away a lot of learning and good friends for life.  We hope that you have had positive emotions triggered when contributing to the “Unlock smiles” campaign.  It was only with incredible support from the volunteers in the campaign and several out of the box ideas we introduced to make it fun for the facilitators and the contributors, you might have been reached as a  participant in one of the events listed below–

  1. “Bake Sale" at Trio International School
  2. “Smiley at your desk" in Oracle (Lexington office).
  3. “Tour De Smiles" – cycling event.
  4. “Quiz your way to Smiles" at Doff pub.
  5. “Dedicate a Smile" for Women’s day.
  6. Tied up with Lagori the rock band for Sunday Soul Sante.
  7. Corporate promotions by VMware & Microsoft  who sent internal mails to promote the event.

We thank all of you from the bottom of our hearts for being there with us and hope that you will be associated with Dream A Dream in an active or passive form even in the distant future.

We encourage you to continue contributing when you have a reason to celebrate, dedicate a gift to someone you love, just want to do something different, spread the word with your friends.  The “UnlockSmiles” online payment gateway & website will be kept open through this year in anticipation of reaching our target of 10,000 smiles.

With Dreams,

Dream Team

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Dream A Dream

Jayanagar, Bangalore, India, India

Project Leader

Vishal Talreja

Bangalore, Karnataka India

Where is this project located?

Map of Unlock Smiles