Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills

by Dream A Dream
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Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Empower Vulnerable Young People with Life Skills
Smile Magzine_published by Young people
Smile Magzine_published by Young people

This is the story of a fourteen-year-old girl who came out of her comfort zone and created a safe space for herself and her friends to open up and communicate freely.

Shafiya is a 14-year-old girl studying in 9th std at Florida English School.

 She has been part of the Dream a Dream After School Life Skills program for six years through the Creative Arts Programme. She belongs to a middle-class family. Her father works as a helper in a steel factory, and her mother is a housewife. She has four elder brothers; two brothers have completed their graduation and are taking care of the farming in their hometown, one brother is pursuing 2nd PUC, and one more brother is pursuing his B com.

Shafiya was a reserved girl who was very quiet during the session; she mingled with only a close circle of friends, was possessive of who her friends spent time with, and expected a lot of attention from her friends.

In one session, the Facilitator noticed that Shafiya was very interested in drawing; she was so involved in her drawing that she concentrated on the picture even when her friends disturbed her.

This observation helped the Facilitator understand her interests; later, the Facilitator tried to observe her group involvement during a few sessions. The Facilitator felt that Shafiya had the potential to be a leader with proper guidance. But her lack of confidence was inhabiting her to work on this.

To bring out her leadership skills in Shafiya, the Facilitator gave her the chance to lead the group with ideas of drawing. In one session, she was excited and tried to demonstrate a few easy designs to the group. At the end of the session, she said she liked the session and was excited to lead the group.

In the next session, the Facilitator divided the group and put Shafiya and her friends in different groups. Shafiya revolted immediately and refused to join a group that did not have her friends; the Facilitator asked her to give it a try as she had so many design ideas she wanted to share, and everybody in the class would benefit from it.

Shafiya was unhappy and sat in the group silently; the activity required Shafiya to be blindfolded and her group to give her the instructions to complete the drawing at hand; this activity got Shafiya talking to start asking questions and the following instruction from the group. As a group, they could complete the picture blindfolded and won.

In the reflection circle, Shafiya shared, "I am happy that I agreed to do the activity with a group that didn't have my friends for the first time. I learned that I had so much to learn from others in my class and that just being with my friends stopped my learning".

From the next session, she started involving herself with any group regardless of where her friends were.

To push Shafiya to the next level where her art and leadership skills could shine, the Facilitator got her to join the Art for resilience event. The event looked to create a forum for young people where they can meet other young people from our different partner schools and present their artwork and share ideas.

Shafiya was wholly involved in the event, and she enjoyed herself with the young people from the different schools. She did not hesitate when it was her chance to lead a new group. She tried to mingle with the opposite gender, and she stated her opinion boldly in the reflection circle without fear.

After this event, the Facilitator asked Shafiya to share her experience with the Art for resilience event and the learnings.

Shafiya, with great pride, shared her experience. Later in the session, she started creating a safe space for her friends to share in the group.

For Shafiya, thriving is her ability to come out from her comfort zone to interact and facilitate conversation, work on her leadership skills, and create a safe space for her friends to open up and communicate.

This transformation was possible because of the Life Skills program conducted by Dream a Dream's After School Life Skills program at our partner schools.

 

About Dream a Dream

Started in 1999, Dream a Dream is a recognized, award-winning, registered charitable trust empowering children and young people from vulnerable backgrounds to overcome adversity and thrive in the 21stCentury across India. Currently, we work with 10,000 young people a year through our two innovation labs–AfterSchoolLifeSkillsProgram and CareerConnectProgram, based in Bangalore. We have trained more than 35,000 teachers/educators from six states and have impacted over 1.5 million children through strategic partnerships with state governments in Delhi, Uttarakhand, Telangana, Karnataka, and Jharkhand. We work on a strong collaborative approach with local charities, corporates, volunteers, governments, expert consultants, and national and international strategic partners.

With the Delhi Government on the Happiness Curriculum, our project was selected as a 2021 WISEAwards winner! Together with six other projects from across the globe, we are recognized by the WorldInnovation Summit for Education for providing innovative & impactful solutions to global education challenges.

DreamaDreamwasrecognizedinthetop50last-milerespondersforCovid-19inIndiabyWorldEconomicForum. Wearealsohumbledtobe supported by MackenzieScottamong 286globalempoweringorganizations that the world needs to hear about, and we are delighted that in 2021 Dream a Dream has been a Great Place to Work-Certified™. For the third time in a row, HundrED’s annual Global Collection has recognized our work as one of the leading innovations in K12 education. Over the last 20 years, Dream a Dream has helped close to a million children develop the life skills to thrive through our award-winning approach. Youcanreadmore about us here.

A brief introduction to our program

AFTER SCHOOL LIFE SKILLS PROGRAM

In our After School Life Skills Programme, we use creative arts and football as mediums to engage and develop critical life skills among young people between the ages of 8 to 15 years. This program is an innovation lab where new approaches to life skills development are introduced, demonstrated, documented, evaluated, and fed back into a larger framework for reimagining learning for young people in the country.

To measure the improvements in life skills amongst young people, we use the Life Skills Assessment Scale (LSAS*).

 

Highlights from the Program 

  • 3000 mask and 20 (5 liters) can of sanitizer have been distributed in 20 partner schools to support them in sanitizing the classrooms and ensure a smooth reopening of schools and resumption of our Life Skill interventions.
  • A Focused group conducted a discussion with 30 people made up of 10 principals, ten teachers, and ten parents. The objective of the meeting was to understand their preparedness to reopen the school for young people and, at the same time, equip them to take appropriate safety measures and follow safety protocols by hearing the insights shared by all the participants.
  • The British Council invites collaborative proposals for arts and culture projects from recipients of the Connections Through Culture India-Wales and India-Northern Ireland grants scheme for the India-UK Together program. We have selected nine young people from our program to be representatives of Dream a Dream and share India's Art and culture.
  • Dream a Dream organized Life Skills day after two years of the pandemic. Over 80 students from 20 different schools participated and engaged in fun and colorful activities like cooking without fire, theatre, standup comedy, reels, poetry reading, story illustration, and football juggling drills.
  • The After School Life Skill Development Program launched The Smile Magazine, a magazine designed and co-created with children from schools.
  • Dream a Dream organized Graduation day for over 900 young people from 20 partner schools who completed their life skills journey with us and are empowered to make and be the change! Young people enjoyed their day witnessing different cultural programs and sharing their stories and journey with Dream a Dream.

Testimonials from the Programme

 "We received financial support when my father lost his job at the factory. The solidarity support helped us pay our rent; we received support at the right time, which helped us the staff from Dream a Dream kept calling us and asking us about our welfare".

-Shashikala After School Programme

 "Dream a Dream is supporting us a lot. In the previous lockdown through the program, we used to get the nutrition kit, and they conducted sessions for us even in the hard times, which was helpful for us and kept us positive. Even during this lockdown, when we felt depressed as Covid was affecting many people in the state, we were terrified to move out to work. When our family was not getting support, even for ration cards, we asked for the support of Dream a Dream. I thank Dream a Dream for this support".

-Ruquiya from the Florida English school

"I have worked as a yoga teacher at Siri and Vishnu school. The impact of covid-19 has been hard on the education system; without any income during the lockdown, no way of feeding the family, and continuous pressure from my son's college to pay the fee, it was a tough time for us. Dream a Dream offered to provide us financial support every month till schools reopened and the situation improved. The financial assistance protected my family from so many problems".   

-          Shobha Teacher at Siri and Vishnu School   

Life Skills Day 2022
Life Skills Day 2022
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Play for Resilience
Play for Resilience

       An energetic and talented 16-year-old, Joshve is currently studying in 10th standard in Ambedkar Nagar Govt School. He is from a lower-middle-class family and is the eldest child in a family of migrants from a nearby town called Kolar. His father is a mechanic at a public transport bus depot while his mother is a homemaker. Joshve’s father is the sole earner of the family and works hard to support his family and pay for Joshve’s treatment. The family shifted to a new place for better education for their children and job opportunities. Joshve has been part of Dream a Dream’s After School Life Skills through Sports Program for the past 6 years.

 Joshve is specially-abled since birth. His parents relentlessly tried to save him from an illness that affected his physical growth severely. While in school, he tried to engage in multiple activities. However, his peers often mocked him as he struggled while performing the activities. Eventually, he lost confidence and stopped trying, eventually, he stopped getting involved in games or befriending anyone. As a result, he became aggressive and would get into fights, and use foul language frequently.

 He doesn’t like being treated as a person with special needs and gets upset and aggressive when people show sympathy towards his condition.

 During the life skills sessions, Dream A Dream’s facilitator, Geetha, observed the challenges that Joshve faced during the sessions and how his peers treated him. She often found him depressed and aggressive, and he would regularly fight or use foul language, and he did not respect anyone. He also didn’t participate in any activity and didn’t speak up during reflection. He stayed alone, gradually lost interest, and stopped coming to the session altogether.

After speaking to Joshve’s parents and teachers, Geetha realized that he had similar behaviors at school and at home. Concerned for his growth, she started observing him closely and arranged more 1-on-1 sessions with him. As Joshve realized that Geetha cares for his welfare, he slowly started opening up to her. He shared how he didn’t like being treated as a special person.

 Having understood his concerns, Geetha realized that she needed to engage him in sessions focused on acceptance and managing conflicts.

Through the “Tag and Catch” session, Geetha created activities that were easier for Joshve, but difficult for his classmates. Joshve was able to finish the activities quickly whereas the others struggled. This made the others realize how regular activities are difficult for Joshve, and they started respecting and empathizing with him. Joshve also felt confident as he had managed to complete his tasks and his friends had started approaching him. Slowly and gradually, he learned anger management, started respecting and supporting others.

Joshve’s class teacher, Bharathi ma’am says Joshve is a brilliant student but never used to play with others. He used to be alone, and I almost always found him aggressive and watching other children play. His mother shared how he fought with his younger brother, and never respected his elders, which is why I reached out to Geetha. I have observed him develop into a more confident person and he has been able to manage his anger well.

 Joshve’s parents remember how he was different at a younger age and had become aggressive and kept fighting with his siblings. Says his parent. ‚He would not listen to even us. I had discussed this with Bharathi ma’am. We had discussed this with Dream a Dream facilitator as well and requested her to help our son. His behavior changed after he started attending Dream a Dream sessions. He now respects elders, spends more time with his brother, and teaches him new things. I am very happy and thank Dream a Dream for this change.

 Best moments of Joshve

I am playing in Dream a Dream since last year. I love the game tag and catch. It has helped my friends understand my perspective and I feel very happy because everyone started respecting me and started including me in their team.

 

Dream a Dream is a registered, charitable trust empowering children and young people from vulnerable backgrounds to overcome adversity and flourish in the 21st century. Currently, we work with 10,000 young people a year through our two innovation labs – After School Life Skills Programme and Career Connect Programme, have trained over 9,828 teachers/educators from six states and including 19 districts in Karnataka impacting over 2,45,700 children and have impacted over 1 million children through strategic partnerships with state governments in Delhi and Jharkhand. We work on a strong collaborative approach with local charities, corporates, volunteers, governments, expert consultants, and a host of national and international strategic partners. Over the last 20 years, Dream a Dream has helped close to a million children overcome adversity via life skills.  

Our project the Happiness Curriculum, conceptualized and executed in partnership with the Delhi Government, has been selected among the 2021 WISE Awards finalists! We are one of 12 global innovative educational projects to be selected. It further validates our belief that the core purpose of education is to help every child learn to be happy, help others be happy, and learn to Thrive.

Dream a Dream was also the proud winner of the ‘Football for Good Award’ at the 2020 World Football Summit (WFS), presented by Common Goal. For the third time in a row, HundrED’s annual Global Collection has recognized our work as one of the leading innovations in K12 education. Over the last 20 years, Dream a Dream has helped close to a million children develop the life skills to thrive through our award-winning approach.

As we slowly recover from the aftermath of the pandemic and move forward to the new year, we take a pause to remember the unnerving months that have come to pass. While we witnessed communities reel in the brutality of the pandemic, we are grateful that we could mobilize our COVID-19 relief team to help young people and their families. We also witnessed the resilient and compassionate spirit of our young people despite their own economic and emotional fallouts. As they return to the new normal, we know that there can be no better time than now to reimagine the purpose of education. And it is with that intention that we have partnered with the State Government of Delhi and we are proud to share that Delhi’s Happiness Curriculum was the WISE award winner for its innovative and groundbreaking approach to include Social Emotional Learning as a part of curricula in Delhi government schools. We were also recognized as one of India’s best workplaces for women in 2021 for fostering a sense of equity and equality in the workspace.

Insights from our COVID-19 response-

Despite the economic and political fallouts of the pandemic, our alumni and young people who were a part of our programs displayed skills they had developed to navigate our interconnected, complex world which was in crisis. From helping migrants with rations to volunteering towards COVID relief work to becoming entrepreneurs to support their families, our young people found their own unique solutions. 

We are also supremely proud of our team who worked tirelessly to help our young people and their communities. Young people are also excited to be back in schools after the prolonged closures. Read more about their work https://dreamadream.org/dream-a-dreams-frontline-warriors-response-to-the-devastating-2nd-wave-of-covid-19/

 

 Play for Resilience

Dream a Dream organized a one-day sports event -  Play for Resilience on 5 October 2021 where 70+ children from our partner schools in Bangalore joined us as we advocated the importance of playing for better mental and physical health. Watch a glimpse of the event https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6866330324192907264 

Art for Resilience

Dream a Dream organized a one-day art event  'Art for Resilience' for young people from our Bangalore partner schools with the intention of helping young people cope with their emotions as they transition from online mode to offline mode learning. 72 young people from 14 partner schools from Bangalore participated in the event.  The event also gave them a platform to express themselves and interact with other young people.

Dialogue on the way forward for children's education

Suchetha Bhat shared her views on reopening of schools amid COVID-19, the challenges, and the way forward for children’s education at  Education Dialogue - National Education Policy: Looking Through the Lens of Repurposing Education Towards Thriving for Every Child, organized by Center for ICT for Development (CICTD) and Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI). Watch the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xahRbm-WXY&list=PLhaFIBbDLKQaNOse9Ilmln8OXuV94-Uvb&index=27

 

As we move forward to a brand new year, we are grateful for your support that ensures every child has the opportunity to thrive. We look forward to your continued support. Happy 2022 to all of you!

Glimpse_Play for Resilience
Glimpse_Play for Resilience
Play for Resilience
Play for Resilience
Art for Resilience
Art for Resilience
Art for Resilience
Art for Resilience
Joshve
Joshve

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Digital Divine support to the young people
Digital Divine support to the young people

       Ajay has been part of the After School Life Skills through Football Program since the past 3 years. He comes from a middle-class family; his father suffered a knee injury seven years ago and since then has not been able to find a suitable job. The sole bread winner in the family is Ajay’s mother, who works as a house keeper making it very difficult for the family to lead a basic life. Adding to their woes his mother lost her job because of the COVID pandemic and the ensuing lockdown. This completely devastated the family as they were not able to buy even the necessities such as ration or vegetables leave alone medicines for his father. Getting to know the plight of Ajay’s Ajay expresses his gratitude to Dream a Dream.

He says, ‘When Dream a Dream’s facilitator reached out to me to enquire about my wellbeing, I simply poured out all my problems. My facilitator was very understanding and empathized with me. I was supported with one month of medicines for my father’s nerve and knee injuries and provided ration kit for my family. In this critical situation nobody helped for us but Dream a Dream did, it was a big help for me, I am still receiving calls from the Facilitator enquiring about my family’s wellbeing. I am so happy about this and feel somebody is standing for me like a God. My heartfelt Thank you for every facilitator and Dream a Dream for this biggest support in this critical situation in my life. I shall be always grateful to them.’

 

After School Life Skills Programme

In our After School Life Skills Programme, we use creative arts and football as mediums to engage and develop critical life skills among young people between the ages of 8 to 15 years. This programme is an innovation lab where new approaches to life skills development are introduced, demonstrated, documented, evaluated, and fed back into a larger framework for re-imagining learning for young people in the country. To measure the improvements in life skills amongst the young people, we use the Life Skills Assessment Scale (LSAS*).

*The LSAS is the first standardized impact measurement tool in the world to measure improvement in life skills among disadvantaged children.

Highlights of the After School Life Programme

  • The After School Life Programme hosted a well-being meet with our After School life skills partners consisting of government and low-cost schools. This was to create space to share and listen in to their journey in this difficult time with the disruption caused by the 2nd #COVID19 wave. Focused group discussion was conducted for 30 people comprising of 10 principals, 10 teachers and 10 parents to understand their preparedness to reopen the school for young people. At the same time, the intention was to equip them to follow appropriate protocol and safety measures by hearing the insights shared by all the participants.
  • So far 1900 young people have been engaged in life skills intervention for the academic year in the After School Life Skill Development Programme. Young people were thrilled to restart their life skills journey. Batches have been created and allocated to the to begin the session with reintegration to address the new normal that COVID-19 has brought with it.

COVID Relief and Response Report

As the 2nd COVID -19 wave crippled India and the chaos and devastation surged, Dream a Dream formed a core team to respond swiftly to the emerging needs from young people and their communities. In a matter of a week, the team that had over decades worked on life skills related interventions pivoted towards relief related interventions.

The team had 300-400 requests pouring in every day that meant that they had to work and respond quickly on everything from medical requirement, medical awareness, ration, food, emotional and mental health, learning kits, solidarity fund for teachers and young people apart from looking at requests for device support and scholarships. Once we got some grip on the situation the team reached out to the young people and their communities to create awareness on the safety of the vaccine and organized a vaccination drive.

 Below is the support provided to young people and teachers:

           Categories                                                        Completed

  • Ration Kit - Young people and Teachers               17,893
  • Medical Awareness                                               1193
  • Medical Support                                                     490
  • Emotional/Mentor Support                                     872
  • Placement                                                              31
  • Devices                                                                  119
  • Finance Support - Teacher (June + July) **            815
  • Finance Support - Young People                           803
  • Learnt at Home Kits                                               41
  • Internet Recharge                                                  49
  • Vaccination Support                                               353
  • Scholarship                                                             31
  • Total                                                                      22,690

*Updated figures at the time of sending the report.

* For June & July. Also, not included are support extended to 19 teachers as we are waiting for a confirmation for amount getting credited to their bank account.

 

Achievements by the DaD COVID Warriors:

 

1) Responding to Medical requests: We built a strong team dedicated to respond to medical crisis and also build awareness among young people when it comes to Covid-19. We helped young people and their families with medicine support, hospital beds, oxygen support, covid tests and vaccinations. 490 young people have received medical support while 1193 young people have received covid-19 awareness. 

 

2)  Distributing Ration Kits to help families:  The team was also concurrently distributing ration kits to young people, parents, and teachers in the communities as well. Given that many of the young people’s parents lost their jobs because of extended lock downs coupled with the fact that even teachers had not been paid salaries for months together, the teams understood that there were survival related challenges, where both young people and teachers were struggling to make ends meet. We supported 17893 young people and teacher with a ration support.

 

 3)      No child’s learning is left behind due to digital divide and internet support:  With majority of learning going digital, many young people started missing out on education as they did not have devices to attend their class; to address this we have started to provide devices. We supported 119 young people with devices to continue education and provided support for internet data to 49 young people.

 

 4)      Providing Livelihood support: Many of the young people’s parents have lost their livelihood they struggled to make ends meet like paying rent etc.; most of the teachers are struggling with their income being cut making survival difficult. As of date 803 young people and 815 teachers have received financial support. 

 

5)      Young People needed Emotional Support: As the situation worsened, the team on the ground understood that it was critical to continue to extend emotional support as well. Young people were experiencing emotional and mental strain because of different reasons, some because exams were cancelled, others because of the lack of awareness about COVID-19, a few had also taken on additional responsibilities of family, lack of medical care. For some, their existing adversities had further heightened, for others they suddenly had become decision makers in their families, quite a few of them had to deal with the emotional turmoil within their families and some were facing economic pressure because of the loss of jobs. The Dream a Dream’s emotional support group for young people primarily focused on ensuring that the young people had someone to listen and help validate their emotions. 872 young people received emotional support from the team.

 

Testimonials from the Programme:

 

“I am very grateful for the support Dream a Dream is giving me and my family. Just as in the previous lockdown where we got nutrition kits and sessions were conducted even in such difficult times helped us remain positive, this time also during the 2nd wave of COVID  19 and the resulting lockdown, Dream a Dream COVID Warriors helped us in every bit way – be it ration kits, medical assistance, emotional support etc. which helped us in a very big way to overcome the difficult times and stay positive as we were very scared to even move out of our home and completely feeling down.We really thank Dream a Dream for all the help when we reached out to them as we were scared to move out to work and when our family was not getting support even for ration card etc.”-  Ruquiya from Florida English school

Responding to the medical support
Responding to the medical support
Distribution ration kits to young people family
Distribution ration kits to young people family
Ajay
Ajay
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Graduation Day Celebration
Graduation Day Celebration

Kavya  is a bright and talented 12 year old girl studying in the 7th standard in Government School Ambedkar Nagar, Bangalore. She has been part of Dream a Dream’s After School Life Skill through Sports programme for the past 4 years. She comes from a low income family. Her father had abandoned them when she was very young. Since then, her mother has been taking care of the family and is the decision maker. Her mother works as a tailor in a garment factory to provide food and shelter for the family. Kavya’s elder sister also works as a helper in a garment factory to supplement the family income. Kavya’s grandparents take care of her and her elder brother (who studies in the same school in standard 8th) when her mother and elder sister are at work.

When Kavya’s father abandoned them, she went into a deep depression. She became very quiet and withdrawn; she hesitated to mingle with the opposite gender, she did not speak to or felt very uncomfortable speaking with unknown persons too. She had a fear about what other people will think about her and she felt that the boys always ignored her and did not include her in any activities. She remained in her comfort zone mainly with some of her best friends. If the facilitator divided the team for some activity, she would not mingle with anyone in the group and if a situation arose where she had to interact with the members in the group, she simply will not take part in any activities, even if someone asks her, she will not talk and remain silent.

Observing this, our programme facilitator decided to talk to her but before that he spoke to her class teacher and her mother and got to know the difficult circumstances under which Kavya, and her family were living. Having understood the reason for Kavya’s behaviour he started to give her more time and space, he initiated many one-on-one conversations with her. After talking with him, Kavya felt the facilitator’s care and concern and started to respond. The facilitator planed some sessions to make her mingle with others; one such activity was ‘finding the route from the map’, where Kavya took her first step towards mingling with her team, was to helping and guiding her partner to find the way without ending up in a blind corner using the map. She was happy doing this activity and began to slowly mingle with others, not only in the sessions but in her class and elsewhere. Due to the constant encouragement from the facilitator and at the same time watching and learning from him, Kavya learnt how to take initiative, take leadership to do things which would help the whole class. She began to come forward with ideas in the team, rising hand to speak in group, taking attendance and distributing snacks and leading the energizer songs etc during the Programme.

Kavya is now a very strong and bold girl. She has become the class leader and takes the initiative to look after the class. She has become more active than ever.

This is what she has to share with us, “I thought I won’t be able to mingle with anyone, I will be alone forever in my life, but I am very lucky that I enrolled into Dream a Dream’s After School Life Skills programme where I overcame my fear and hesitation and built my confidence; I have changed myself to another person who is very strong, confident and bold. I feel I can now face anything in my life.”

TEACHERS QUOTES: -

Kavya’s class teacher says that Kavya initially used to be good in studies but she became very silent, preferring to be alone in the class and she would not eat anything during the lunch break and when I asked, she would say she is not hungry or if forced to eat she would sit alone and eat her food silently and not respond to any of my questions. Her concentration towards studies and her grades started going down. Sensing something wrong I spoke with her mother and got to know that her father had run away. I gave some time to her and talked to the Dream a Dream facilitator and requested if he could do something; after that slowly she started concentrating in the class, she started to talk in class. I saw her behaviour change - she looked confident, she has started getting good grades and supports her friends also, she takes the initiative to look after the class when I am not in class, she makes everyone to sit quietly and ensures that they are doing classwork. She has changed so much that if she needs any clarification or help, she will directly ask that person. She does not hesitate to speak with unknown people and communicates effectively and confidently. Seeing all these changes I decided to make her the class leader and had turned out to be a very good leader.

PARENTS QUOTES: -

Says her mother, “I was very worried and afraid what will happen to Kavya when her father left us. When her father left us Kavya started to keep to herself all the time, never speaking or asking anything. I would try everything to make her happy and feel safe. I tried to take her for a walk, spend time with her, I tried everything, but she did not come out of the trauma after the incident. I got to know that she was like that in her class and with her friends as well when I spoke to her class teacher.

That is when Kavya’s teacher decided to approach Dream a Dream’s facilitator to see if he could help. All that I know was that the facilitator told me that he will take extra care and give more attention and support to Kavya and after that the change in Kavya was unbelievable!

Kavya started to spend time with her grandfather and grandmother, she started to talk with them and started helping them, she feels comfortable to share her feelings. She started to share about what she did in school, happily mingling with her sister and brother. She started to help me with the household work too. When I come home from work, she comes and happily hugs me and starts sharing what she did at school. Her smile gives me more energy to work hard and build a better future for her. Nowadays she is very happy, and I thank Dream a Dream for changing my daughter and bring back her smile and confidence.

Dream a Dream is a registered, charitable trust empowering children and young people from vulnerable backgrounds to overcome adversity and flourish in the 21st century using a creative life skills approach. Currently, we work with 10,000 young people a year through our two innovation labs – After School Life Skills Programme and Career Connect Programme, have trained over 9,828 teachers/educators from six states and including 19 districts in Karnataka impacting over 2,45,700 children and have impacted over 1 million children through strategic partnerships with state governments in Delhi and Jharkhand. We work on a strong collaborative approach with local charities, corporates, volunteers, governments, expert consultants, and a host of national and international strategic partners.

 

Dream a Dream has been recognized and awarded for innovation, transparency, and accountability over the years by Ashoka, Global Development Network, Harvard, Rockefeller Foundation, Resource Alliance, and others.

Four years ago, we unveiled our five-year strategic plan, which outlined our vision for 2016-21. Since 2016, we have continually invested in research & advocacy to build momentum around our vision of equipping young people from vulnerable backgrounds with life skills. The Research team has published one research paper and in the process of writing two more to be published in the coming financial year. Yes, the journey this far has been very exciting as we have achieved all our objectives by overcoming the many challenges reinforcing our belief that we are we are on the right path. With this report we would like to share some of our key highlights from FY 2019-20 as we move closer to our 2021 vision.

AFTER SCHOOL LIFE SKILLS PROGRAMME:

In our After School Life Skills Programme, we use creative arts and football as mediums to engage and develop critical life skills among young people between the ages of 8 to 15 years. This programme is an innovation lab where new approaches to life skills development are introduced, demonstrated, documented, evaluated, and fed back into a larger framework for re-imagining learning for young people in the country. To measure the improvements in life skills amongst the young people, we use the Life Skills Assessment Scale (LSAS*).

*The LSAS is the first standardised impact measurement tool in the world to measure improvement in life skills among disadvantaged children.

KEY IMPACT INDICATORS OF ASLSP: 2020-21

• In the beginning of the year 24 partner school had agreed to engage in After School Life Skills Programme but due to the COVID19 pandemic we could hold our sessions in 20 partner schools.

• 90% of young people shows positive improvement in at least one Life Skills. – We have collected 1557 baseline and 1557 endline LSAS data. We will analyze and share the improvement scores. 

• 85% attendance across the batches. – Despite the challenges faced by us and the young people regarding availability of smart phones or laptop or computer desktop etc., coupled with issues with internet – availability or bandwidth we managed to achieve 70% attendance by way of accommodating various timings suiting the young people or by aiding for internet packs etc.

• 15 session through blended approach across the batches – We conducted on an average 16 session per batch.

• 20 powerful stories collection that advocates the need for life skills education – We have collected 10 powerful stories of change.

HIGHLIGHTS OF AFTER SCHOOL LIFE SKILLS PROGRAMME:

  •  Enrolled 3036 young people across 185 batches and 2798 young people completed the life skills intervention for the academic year. It was a very challenging year for both young people and us. We had to move all our programmes online. After much brainstorming we adopted the blended approach to engage young people in teaching life skills. The session was delivered in an interactive and effectively engaging manner throughout out the year. Young people also proactively participated in the life skills intervention whether we delivered it through online or off-line mode. We presented them opportunities to come up with their own creative stuff and continue their learning.

 

  •  199 Scholarships was provided to support young people to continue their schooling and learning. Due to the Pandemic parents of many young people lost their jobs leading to many young people working in nearby shops to supplement the family income. They had no means to pay the school fees to attend the online classes. We were approached by many young people seeking financial help in order to continue their education. We then decided with the agreement of many donors to give scholarships to these needy children. The scholarship has really helped these young people to come back to school and continue their leaning.

 

  •  Introduced ‘Learn at Home Sports Kit’ in our sessions; the resulting lockdown due to the pandemic young people were not able to go out on the field and play their sports and learn life skills. This was leading to many physical and emotional issues and challenges. To address this pressing issue, we came up with the sports kit which included a football, a skipping rope, a smiley ball, and a nutrition kit. This initiative allowed young people to play and learn at home. 20 partner schools benefitted from this. At the same time, it also contributed to increasing the attendance percentage in sports session. The Art kit helped young people to be stronger emotionally and sports kit focused on physical wellbeing of young people. This challenging year was special year for us as we could deliver both the programmes to 3036 young people.

 

  •   Anjali a graduate from After School Life Skill programme has been selected as a HundrED youth ambassador. HundrED is a global education nonprofit. Their mission is to help improve education through impactful innovations. Anjali will represent Dream a Dream at the conference and talk about the current educational needs and importance of life skill in school system.

 

  •   On the occasion of women’s day celebration 30 young people from our 3 partner schools participated in woman’s festival football tournament organized by Barca Academy in Whitefield Bangalore. Young people had a great day after a long gap due to the restrictions imposed by the government. They were able to interact with other team members physically. The partner schools won the second, third and fourth place!

 

  •  Successfully Celebrated Graduation Day 2019-20 and 2020-21. After School Life Skill Programme hosted 59 events to celebrate the Graduation Day in a week at 21 Dream a Dream Partner schools, an event that brought together 1470 Young people, 30 Alumni, 1 Donor, 20 Teachers, 22 Dream a Dream staff and 7 other stake holders. The event designed for 2 hours helps young people to reflect and relook their learning journey at Dream a Dream life skills programme. At these events many young people shared their deep resilience stories, what they learned for their life and how deeply they connected with Dream a Dream. And, Yes, there was lots of fun, food, and interactive activities to celebrate the uncertainties.

 

  •  Dream a Dream Presented a Doodle Art Exhibition organized by one of our facilitator Chandrashekar along with two of our young people Ashraf and Ayesh who had taken their creativity to the next level and came up with amazing Doodle Art Frames. “The learn at home kit” helped them to take this creative risk and come with these beautiful and amazing frames.

 

 KEY IMPACT INDICATORS OF ASLSP FOR APRIL 2020 – MARCH 2021:

 

• 5,084 young people are engaging through our After-school Life Skills Programme. 

 

  • 1,205 in Life Skills through Sports.
  • 1,831 in life skills through Creative Arts Programme.
  • 2,048 through reintegration sessions.

 

• We run our sessions in 20 partner’s schools comprising of with 18 Low-Cost Private Schools and 2 Government Schools across Bangalore city.

• The total number of batches in the programme is 185 of which: 

  • 72 batches are in Life Skills through Sports Programme
  • 113 batches are in Life Skills through Arts Programme.
  • Each batch engages 10-20 young people in the core Life Skills Programme.
  • 4542 Session conducted and maintained 70% attendance across the batches.

 

• We have 33 trained Life Skills facilitators to deliver life skills interventions through blended approach.

Young graduate_Anjali
Young graduate_Anjali
Young people@ Barca Academy
Young people@ Barca Academy
Doodle Art Exhibition
Doodle Art Exhibition
Graduation Day Celebration -2
Graduation Day Celebration -2
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Arpita
Arpita

Mount Everest School is a private aided school, which houses students from underprivileged backgrounds. The students who come to this school have parents who work as auto and cab drivers, manual laborer and garment workers. Their parents work long hours, trying to make ends meet. Arpita’s parents are no different.

 Arpita is a bright and diligent student of this school. She is 14 years old and studies in the 9th Grade. Her father paints houses for a living while her mother works in a garment factory. There are times when both her parents are at work and Arpita needs to take care of the household chores and her younger brother, who studies in the 7th Grade in the same school. She has been attending Dream a Dream’s After School Life Skills Programme through the medium of Sports since 5th Grade and according to her class teacher - “Over the years, she has transformed into a leader!

“Growing up in a household when my parents were always fighting, I always felt scared and helpless. I used to sit in a room and cry about it, never letting anybody know I was upset. There was nobody I could share this with, and I didn’t know what I could do to help the situation between my parents, and it was affecting me.”

 “When Nagraj Anna (a facilitator at Dream a Dream) came to our school nearly 2-years ago, I noticed how he used to lead the sessions so skillfully and I was in awe of him. But, at the same time, I was always scared to come into any leadership role, thinking I would not do a good job at it. Moreover, I was always afraid of what everybody else would think. During the sessions, everyone is given a chance to be a leader and even though I always wished I could be one, I tried to avoid being chosen by running to the end of the line and out of Nagraj Anna’s line of sight. It was a struggle with self.”

 “One day, during the football session, we were divided into groups of 4 members and asked to complete a particular task. In my team was a leader who didn’t communicate with any of us and didn’t know how to give the team instructions to follow. All the other teams succeeded in completing the task and we were left with it being incomplete. It made me feel very bad and for a moment, I felt how much better our team would have performed if I were a leader. That was the moment when something shifted in me. The next time I was given an opportunity to lead, I decided to grab it. This kept repeating it to myself and I found myself taking initiative to being picked as a leader and to take up more responsibilities. My confidence increased and as the sessions progressed, I started believing in my own skills and I developed new skills of managing conflict. Inspired by Nagraj Anna’s facilitation skills, I decided to demonstrate these skills at home.”

 “When my parents broke into a fight, as always, instead of running away into a room, I decided to face them and slowly tried to stop them. I first separated them and spoke to them individually and came to a negotiation. This solved the issue. I couldn’t believe it. Soon, I started becoming the mediator between my friends and even during the football sessions.”

 “Nagraj Anna provided me an opportunity to attend Life Skills Day where I got to share my experience of having gained life skills through football sessions and conduct a workshop for nearly 30 students coming from other schools. I was really afraid and nervous but I somehow managed to keep those feelings at bay and conduct the workshops. It was a whole new experience for me, and my confidence just soared.”

 “Looking back at those days when I was always second guessing whether or not I should lead and how I used to hide at the end of the line, to avoid being chosen as a leader, I realised that I have come a long way.”

 Arpita’s teacher Girija says, “I have been teaching in this school for over 4 years now and I can see how much she has changed. We have a good bond and she shares her feelings with me, and I know how much she has helped and solved the situation at home, between her parents. Watching her lead a workshop during Life Skills Day was unbelievable because she never displayed those leadership qualities before. She did a fantastic job!

 Nagraj who is Arpita’s facilitator shared, “I have been taking football sessions in this school and for Arpita’s batch for the past 2-years and I’ve watched her change. Initially, she shied away from taking up any leadership roles and responsibilities. On speaking to her, I realised that she came from a difficult background, where her parents always seemed to be in conflict. She was affected by this and kept thinking that she didn’t have it in her to change the situation. Over time, I observed her slowly step up and take responsibilities and initiatives to lead the students. I believed that she would be able to successfully conduct a workshop during Life Skills Day and that day, she truly proved that she had those leadership qualities within her.

 

Why Dream a Dream and Life skills?

COVID 19 has disrupted the status quo creating space to drive change and equip young people with Life skills to adapt to situations like the one created due to the pandemic. At Dream a Dream, we believe that the 21st century provides an excellent opportunity to young people from vulnerable backgrounds to ‘go beyond’ and step into a future without poverty in spite of not having access to good quality academic education. Young people who are able to adapt to this new, fast changing world through skills and abilities to think creatively, manage conflict, respond with empathy, work in teams, take initiative and be adaptable will be successful in this new world.

 

After School Life Skills Programme:

In our After School Life Skills Programme, we use creative arts and football as mediums to engage and develop critical life skills among young people between the ages of 8 to 15 years. This programme is an innovation lab where new approaches to life skills development are introduced, demonstrated, documented, evaluated, and fed back into a larger framework for re-imagining learning for young people in the country. To measure the improvements in life skills amongst the young people, we use the Life Skills Assessment Scale (LSAS*).

This year is particularly difficult for the young people and the teachers due to the prevailing lockdown due to the COVID 19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created havoc across the world and the number of positive cases keeps increasing every day. A calamity like COVID-19 brings out the best and worst in a society. The first to get affected are the young people who come from difficult backgrounds. The fast act and response measures from the government to curb the pandemic is making life more difficult for marginalized groups.

Many of our young people’s parents are daily wage workers and many of them are dependent on daily, weekly and bi-weekly income; putting an immense amount of stress on them to buy food and other basic everyday needs. Summer is also the time that many young people use to earn money to save for further education. The battle against COVID-19 has made young people feel more vulnerable than before because they wouldn’t be able to afford school/ college fees.

At Dream a Dream, we give all the support a young person needs and more so now. We have formed a team comprising of the Leadership and the programme managers to support young people’s social, emotional and economic needs during these stressful times. We have also formed a team to stay connected and support young people and teachers in our programme. The team answers calls related to awareness and precautions related to COVID-19, give emotional/validation support, advise related to e-learning programme and provide dry ration kits to needy families.

Some of the highlights:

  • The number of Beneficiary enrolled in the programme is 2908, comprising of 1420 boys and 1488 girls.
  • There are 16 female facilitators and 19 male facilitators to conduct the Life Skills sessions.
  • The team has been having virtual session through Whatsapp and Zoom under the reintegration initiative. Till date we have 2908 young people enrolling into the programme which includes 940 young people enrolled under the reintegration initiative.

 

The Global #Whatif movement

Over the last few months, Suchetha Bhat (CEO, Dream a Dream) and Vishal Talreja (Co-founder & Trustee, Dream a Dream) have tried to make sense of everything that has happened / is happening, and specifically its impact on children from marginalized communities. They wrote a series of articles (1,2,3) reflecting on the education system and the insights they were picking up from the ground.

These articles got a great response from the community and people started reaching out with questions on how they can engage and support these reflections. This led to the launch of a Global Movement called #WhatIf. You can read more about it here - https://whatif-global.com/.

The #WhatIf Movement is a community driven initiative with the intention to invite a pause, a moment, a stillness into our being before we can respond to support our children. It is an initiative to explore and discover what could be our most compassionate offer to our children during this pandemic and post when children begin to re-engage with school.

There have been some amazing partners / individuals joining the movement through writing articles, sending across endorsements, creating and sharing resources, engaging with social media and taking the #WhatIf idea to their communities. Since it’s a community driven event, different partners are engaging with it in their own way and driving the thinking.

The overall hope is that the process of reflection and taking a pause will help us change narratives around education and give us a real chance to Reimagine education in a post-COVID world.

 

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Organization Information

Dream A Dream

Location: Bangalore, Karnataka - India
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @dreamadreamind
Project Leader:
Vishal Talreja
Cofounder & CEO
Bangalore, Karnataka India
$63,457 raised of $230,000 goal
 
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