Unlock Smiles

Oct 29, 2014

The New Changemakers at Dream A Dream

Young People at Football for Hope Festival, Brazil
Young People at Football for Hope Festival, Brazil

Dear Donor,

It was been an absolutely cracker of a year so far at Dream A Dream!

In June, 6 young people from Dream A Dream got an opportunity of a lifetime when they represented India at the Football for Hope Festival held alongide the Football World Cup in Brazil. It was an experience that transformed them for life. Here is an media interview just before they left for Brazil - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XRg1Yar_Rw. and a News report on their return - http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/our-footballers-are-back-from-brazil/article6246258.ece

While, 6 of our young people were making ripples Internationally, we continued to be inspired by stories of young people in our programmes. Stories like that of Praveen. 17 year old Praveen hailing from a low-income urban community joined the Dream Connect programme to enhance his Computer, English and Communication Skills. Inspired by the impact of the programme, Praveen started encouraging his friends in the community to join our programme and the last we heard, 22 of his friends have joined various programmes at Dream Connect. Praveen is not only making healthier choices in his life but also being a Changemaker in his community. 

The Dream Connect programme was started in 2010 to support young people like Praveen who need guidance, mentorship, access to information and opportunities and life skills to make life’s tough decisions as they embark into adulthood. Today, Dream Connect works with nearly 5,000 young people in the 14-19 age group from the most vulnerable communities in Bangalore. 

Stories like that of Vishnu. Vishnu was part of Dream A Dream's After School Life Skills Programme nearly 5 years back. Today, Vishnu is a Changemaker at Dream A Dream and in his community. Vishnu and his friends setup a Rugby Team and started taking free sessions next to a open sewer for other young children in his community. Inspired by the changes he was seeing, he and his friends have pursued their passion for Rugby and setup a local club to nurture talent and also participate in tournaments. In a recent tournament, his team won the cup which they proudly dedicated to Dream A Dream. He also pursues his college and works part-time with us as a Life Skills Facilitator taking our innovative Life Skills Approach to atleast 150 children in urban slum communities. 

We are beginning to see the tide turn after 15 years of committed effort in Bangalore. Hundreds of young graduates from our programmes are beginning to take leadership in their life and communities and become true Changemakers and it is just adding more inspiration to our movement of Changing the Script for these young people. 

Your support is critical to help us increase the tribe of young changemakers like Praveen and Vishnu. Have you made your annual contribution to Dream A Dream yet? If not, our sincere request to do it now and also help us reach out to your friends and family to join the movement. 

Today, the movement reaches out to 50,000 young people through all our various programmes across 3 states of India and we have ambitious plans to empower 250,000 young people by 2016. Your support to make this happen is critical!

With Gratitude,

The Dream Team


Jul 17, 2014

Your Support is a Key to Unlock Many Dreams

Dreamers @ TCS World 10K Bangalore 2014
Dreamers @ TCS World 10K Bangalore 2014

Dear Co dreamers,

We are very happy to share you our journey of first quarter of the year 2014-15. The main highlight was we participated in TCS World 10K Bangalore 2014. State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), a reputed multinational company come forrward to run supporting Dream A Dream.  

Along with this report, I want to share with you a story of two of our graduates who selected for a scholarship programme to study in the USA, followed by a few highlights of Dream A Dream programme. 

Overcoming modest background, two graduates of our programme  are all set to take the long flight to America. Girish and Mahesh  will fly on July 18th 2014 to the US on a fully-paid scholarship to do a one-year certificate programme in Business Management/Administration and Early Child Education respectively at Mesa Community College in Arizona. 

20-year-old Girish, a second-year B Com student at Vijaya College, comes from a modest background; his father is a car driver and his mother a maid. He also works as a life skills facilitator at Dream A Dream.  Girish said, "I wanted to study business administration because I want to set up my own business in the future. I still can't believe that I cracked the scholarship." 

Mahesh, a second-year BA student at Vijaya Evening College, who works as an art skills facilitator said, "I get to work with children aged nine and above. I wanted to pursue a course where I would get to teach children from three years on." 

They plan to come back to Bangalore once they complete their courses to finish their course at Vijaya College. Girish said, "We couldn't have got through if we were not in the middle of our course. Our family was worried that we might not complete our studies because they have saved on our college fees. But we, with the help of colleagues at Dream A Dream, managed to convince them that it was for our own good. Our college principal, too, had to call our parents up to convince them." For the proud, hard-working parents, it's a huge moment. 

Mahesh's mother, a housewife, said, "I cannot believe our son is going to America. Everybody dreams of going there one day, and my son is actually going. We are very proud of him, but I am equally sad because this is the first time he will be staying away from us for a year."

  • Dream A Dream, the only NGO from India to be selected for the FIFA football for Hope. 6 young players selected. 
  • Dell International, one of the long standing partners of Dream A Dream, initiated a month long campaign entitled “Ignite Youth Learning” to engage employees to volunteer at Dream A Dream.
  • Our Co-founder Vishal Talreja was invited for a talk at TedxBangalore.  https://campusdiaries.com/stories/tedxbangalore-campus-with-vishal-talreja
  • Participated in TCS world 10K Bangalore 2014. SSGA Ran supporting Dream A Dream.
  • Dream A Dream held a two day annual retreat for its employees at the Elim resort located at the outskirts of Bangalore. 
  • Dream A Dream was the official charity partner for the karaoke night event 'Kroak for Fund' at OPUS Sankey Road for all 4 Wednesdays in the month of June.
  • Dream A Dream was the official charity partner for the first ever vertical race in Bangalore called Skyscraper Dash held at the World Trade Centre, Bangalore.
  • 3119 young people enrolled in our life skills programmes – 1195 in Life skills through football and 1924 in Life skills through Arts.
  • 160 batches run across Bangalore partnering with 24 schools/NGOs - 92 batches in Life skills through Arts and 68 batches in Life skills through Football.
  • Each batch engages25-30 young people in the life skills development programme.
  • 3 Outdoor Experiential Camps completed engaging over 102 young people and 19 volunteers.
  • Teacher Development programme completed Life Skills Facilitation training level 1 and level 2 for 4 partners engaging 49 teachers. Completed Life Skills Facilitation training level 3 and level 4 for 5 old partners.
  • 8 young people participated in SPT tournament held in Bangalore.
  • 8 graduates participated in a tournament held at JP Nagar Bangalore.
  • Completed 1 mentoring Cycle – 25 mentors trained & 25 young people matched.
  • Engaged 454 young people in career awareness programme; 223 male and 231 female.
  • 551 young people engaged in skill development programme at the center; 194 male and 357 female.
  • 1038 young people enrolled to the Last Mile Support programme; 489 male and 549 female.
  • Received 196 applications for scholarships and 128 applications have been granted for scholarship.
  • 5 young people got placement.
  • Engaged 757 volunteers clocking 7182 volunteering hours.
  • Conducted 14 fundays engaging corporate employees.

Please scroll down to see a few pictures from the programme. We look forward for your continued support and an enduring relationship.

With Gratitude,

Young People @ Football For Hope Festival Brazil
Young People @ Football For Hope Festival Brazil
Young People with Volunteers @ a Funday
Young People with Volunteers @ a Funday
Teachers @ TDP Workshop
Teachers @ TDP Workshop
Young People with Volunteers @ a Camp
Young People with Volunteers @ a Camp
@ Sky Scraper Dash Event
@ Sky Scraper Dash Event


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!!

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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