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.”
We look forward to your continued support and enduring relationship. Thank You!!
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:
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!
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!
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
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):
We look forward to your continued support and enduring relationship!
"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–
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.
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