Project #3754

Empowering Vulnerable Young People with LifeSkills

by Dream A Dream
Excited young adults at our recent Camp
Excited young adults at our recent Camp

We are excited to share with you many updates and highlights as we are nearing the close of our programmes for this year.  We are all geared up for the Graduation Ceremony on March 3rd, where 252 young adults are graduating from our Life Skills Programmes.  Thank you for making all this possible, we would have never made it without your support.

In this update we would want to share with you story of Rani, who is part of our Life Skills Program since last year,

Meet Rani (name changed) from our Life skills through Creative Arts Programme:   Story as narrated by our facilitator.

Rani is 14 years old and has been a part of Dream Life Skill programmes since 2 years.  Rani was previously very shy in nature, she would avoid making herself heard or seen in a crowd. She would get tensed when she was asked to do something.  Almost always, she needed a friend to assist her in completing a task or assignment, and even trying to persuade her to participate was difficult.

Change after being in our Programme:

However, as time passed, with the use of group activities, she became more involved in the Dream A Dream Creative Arts session.  She recently put herself into a leadership role in one such activity within the curriculum that was intended to teach ‘responsibility.’  The activity was new and exciting to her which made Rani realize she can make behavioral improvements independently.  She is gaining the courage to take on initiatives and become a leader in the group.

Rani says, “I’ve had the opportunity to express my feelings. I realized the importance of 100% participation in any activity. This helped me to speak without fear in front of people.

When the Deloitte company personnel visited our school, they appreciated me for speaking aloud with enthusiasm and boldness. All these compliments gave me courage which enabled me to participate in a school speech competition. I did not get nervous. In previous years’ speech competitions, I used to get so nervous. 

Dream a Dream helped me understand how to appreciate other people including friends, family, and teachers. I learned compromising things in life. I am no longer putting other people down. 

Thanks to the Dream A Dream team for giving me the opportunity to know about myself and discover my best qualities.”

She says, her family is her inspiration and she aspires to become a district collector.

Organization and Programme Updates and Highlights (December 2012 – February 2013):

  1. We continue to deliver our core life skills programmes –114 batches are run across 18 locations in Bangalore - 51 batches in Life Skills Through Arts and 63 batches in Life Skills Through Football.
  2. Four Outdoor Experiential Camps were conducted engaging 149 children.  The last camp for the year was concluded on 22nd to 25th of Feb 2013.    During this camp, when asked young adults how they would keep the learning from the camp alive, a young adult from the camp said, "I will make my dream to become an actor happen....and when I am famous and being interviewed, I will tell them that it was the Dream A Dream camp that changed my life".
  3. 226 young adults were benefited from Life Skills for Career Development training at our Dream Connect Centre, which offers the tools and foundational life skills necessary for career development.  We are also happy to share with you that Padma and Srinivasulu have now finished their scholarship course at LVDS (one of the top dance schools) and are now employees at LVDS; and Girish one of our graduate has been selected to be part of 1 year course in Media Studies through Community College Initiative funded by the US consulate.
  4. A 2-day training session was organized with Play for Peace (a global learning community) to train our Life skill facilitators and lead facilitators to use different mediums like puppet making, puppet show, different team building activities, etc. to interact with young people to make sessions more effective.
  5. Dreamers Unlimited – A volunteer evening was organized to get the volunteers to interact and appreciate their time and efforts.   Everyone left inspired to do more to give back to the community.  Read more about the evening in this blog post
  6. 65 mentors are part of engaging 82 young adults through our Dream Mentoring programme, and the third cycle of Mentor training is scheduled to start on March 3rd for a set of 20 volunteers.  Two new mentor trainers were trained to deliver the Mentoring Program.
  7. A Teacher Development Workshop from Dream A Dream was conducted on 2nd and 3rd Feb 2013 for 17 teachers from Mt. Everest School. The workshop was focused on Life Skills Facilitation, and the teachers were also trained on principles of effective engagement with children.
  8. Unlock 10,000 Smiles – A online fundraising campaign was launched on Jan 1st with the intention to make 2013, A year of happiness.  We urge you to make a small contribution and make a difference to someone else’s life by unlocking a few smiles.  The campaign ends on March 31st.  Visit our page to know more about the campaign.

We look forward to your continued support and enduring relationship!

Thank You!!

A snap shot from our Volunteer Evening
A snap shot from our Volunteer Evening

"Man is made by his belief.  As he believes, so he is." ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Around 4000 young people from Dream A Dream Life Skill Programmes are on their path to strengthen their belief in themselves by realizing their potential and explore various opportunities for their future.  Thank you for helping us continue this journey.

Meet Ravi (name changed) from our Life skills through Football Programme:   Story as narrated by our facilitator.

Ravi has been in the football programme for the last one year.  Initially when we started the programme with the structured sessions, he did not understand what was being taught to him.  He never used to mingle with any of the other young people in the sessions; he was also very naughty and often used foul language.  I used to try and exclude him for some time during the sessions for bad behaviour and even one of his school teachers came and told me to exclude him from the session. His parents also complained about his behaviour saying that he was being disrespectful, taking money from them without their knowledge and fighting with his brother. He would also lie to them, telling that there was a sports programme and arrived home very late. After we excluded him from a few sessions, he came to classes and pretended to behave.

Change after being in our Programme:

One day, the young people had a structured session with the topic being ‘Dealing with Parents’. All the young people spoke about their parents and everyone spoke positively about their relationship with their parents, explaining that they loved their parents and their parents in turn also loved them. I then shared my personal story. I used to disobey my parents and as a result, faced a lot of difficulties in my life. This story had a lot of impact on Ravi and he understood the importance of respecting his parents. His behaviour gradually improved both in the sessions and at home.

Sharing personal stories and building a personal connection with young people with authenticity helps build trust in them.

Organization and Programme Updates (September - November 2012):

  1. We continue to deliver our core life skills programmes –114 batches are run across 18 locations in Bangalore - 51 batches in Life skill through Arts and 63 batches in Life skill through Football. 
  2. Three Outdoor Experiential Camps were conducted engaging 116 children and 17 volunteers. A quote from Asma, who was at our camp "I wish that this whole world should change like this, each one should have respect, appreciation, care, and say kind words to each other then there will never be any ill or bad air in nature." ~ Asma, 9th standard, EES Bommanahalli
  3. 271 young adults successfully completed their Life Skills for Career Development training at our Dream Connect Center, which offers the tools and foundational life skills necessary for career development.
  4. We have completed our 6-week Facilitation training in partnership with PYE Global-Partnership for Youth Empowerment where 16 Lead Trainers were trained and prepared to deliver trainings across the country.
  5. Mr. Vishal Talreja, Cofounder and Executive Director presented the Dream A Dream model and its journey to students at IIM Ahmedabad on 19th November 2012.
  6. Volunteer Survey 2012 rolled out to study the personal, social, economic, and cultural impact of volunteering on volunteers through an online questionnaire.
  7. As part of our scale plan, 2 life skill facilitation workshops for adults were conducted to teachers from our partner schools and Salaam Bombay Foundation.  We also had, 2 life skills facilitation trainings for Dream A Dream staff.

Your support has repeatedly played a key role in continuing our programmes with young people from vulnerable backgrounds realize their potential to take over life’s challenges with confidence.

P.S. - Both links below

  1. To know about our aspirations from Last Year, please check our Annual Report 2010-11.
  2. We will be recruiting mentors periodically, to know more about mentoring program, please watch our video "Be a caring adult.  Be a mentor."  If you wish to become a mentor please write to

Thank You!!

Life Skill Facilitation Workshop for Teachers
Life Skill Facilitation Workshop for Teachers


Vishwa Dewan
Vishwa Dewan

Currently, we have 3000 young people from some of the most challenging neighborhoods across 16 locations in Bangalore meaningfully engaged once a week in a 2-hour core Life Skills programs.  This has been possible due to the commitments and support from donors like YOU, who have helped us, Dream a Dream, to help young adults realize and reach out to their dreams, one at a time.

It was a Dream come true for our graduate, Vishwa Dewan, 19-year-old, Dream graduate, who aspired to become an animator, and got an opportunity to purse his Media studies at College of DuPage, Chicago.  Vishwa was selected to be one among the 42 Indian students to participate in the “Community College Initiative Program” which is an exchange program sponsored by United States Department of State.

He joined Dream A Dream and was part of the Life Skills Thru Football, outdoor camp, Fundays, and Dream Connect programs.  Vishwa picked up a lot of skills like learning to try new things, anger management, good communication, assuming leadership roles, etc.  He tells, “I was a very shy, silent, and lazy boy, but during the camps did lot of work, got an opportunity to show my leadership and was appreciated there.  I felt being active in life is very important.”

Vishwa’s aspiration was to join military and serve the country, but his eye problem did not support.  It was through the Dream Connect Program Vishwa explored his hidden talent and developed love towards Computers and wanted to do a degree in animation, but due to fat fee structure and financial problems had to join BSc in computers.  But now, he says, “I see a hope through Dream A Dream who has provided me with an opportunity to go to US to do Media Studies at College of DuPage, Chicago.” 

We at Dream A Dream are extremely proud of our young graduate who is on his path to realize his dreams with his commitment, faith, and determination. He reinforces our belief that with right learning opportunities and guidance they unleash their potential and take over the life’s challenges with confidence. 

Organization and Program Updates:

  • Two young graduates from Dream A Dream Life Skill Programs are selected to participate in the 'Community College Initiative Scholarship Program' sponsored by the United States Department of State. They are among 42 Indian students selected for the program.   Both of them are currently pursuing their courses at Whatcom Community College, Washington State and College of DuPage, Chicago respectively.
  • Dream A Dream has been selected to present a paper at the 2012 SMAANZ conference hosted by the University of Technology, Sydney focusing on the dual themes of "innovation and engagement", to discuss the impact created on the participants of the Dream Life Skills thru Football and Creative Arts programs.
  • 240 young adults successfully completed their Life Skills for Career Development training at our Dream Connect Center, which offers the tools and foundational life skills necessary for career development, from June-August 2012. 
  • 46 volunteers were enrolled to become mentors to young adults through Dream A Dream’s 2nd cycle of the Dream Mentoring Program for this year.  This is the first time we have had internal trainers Suchetha and Nilisha conducting the training and it was brilliant!  We look forward to another successful group of mentors to create life-long impact in the lives of young people!

Thank You for being the reason for many Dreams, Smiles, and Aspirations!!.

We look forward for a long-lasting relationship with you.

Warm Regards,

Team of Mentors all set to Mentor our Young Adults
Team of Mentors all set to Mentor our Young Adults
A proud moment for the young graduate.
A proud moment for the young graduate.

300 young adults from Dream A Dream’s Life skills program graduated this March. It is indeed a proud moment for us and it wouldn’t have been possible without your support. Underneath the graduation hats and behind the certificates we saw smiles that cannot be matched with words. Every smile had a story and one such smile was that of Anitha’s.

Anitha started to attend Dream A Dream's Life Skills Thru Football Program when she was studying in 7th grade at Makkala Jagriti. Anitha was a rigid but sensitive girl, and would get upset very quickly when corrected.  Learning in the reflection circle gradually changed her.  She says, “I used to make mistakes, but was not ready to accept it, after understanding what is right and wrong during the reflection circle, I decided to change because I realized that I was hurting others without thinking”.


Her parents wanted her to quit studying and start working.  Confused, Anitha wondered what to do. A coordinator (also her mentor) at the Dream Sports Program encouraged her to think through solutions and discuss them with her parents. Today, she works part-time with the Dream Sports Program, after college hours, and knows that a better future lies ahead after she graduates from college. She now dreams of becoming a Police Officer and is working towards it.

We at Dream A dream are immensely proud of Anitha’s efforts and young adults like her reinforce our belief that the right exposure, opportunity and guidance can make a difference to their lives.


Organisational and program updates 

  • Dream A Dream organized its first ever official graduation program with 300 graduating young adults
  • As part of the scaling plan, two teacher trainings for 60 teachers were conducted in May. One of the teachers training was conducted in Bihar and marked Dream A Dream’s first stride outside Karnataka.
  • The Dream Connect center that empowers 10th standard graduates / drop-outs aged 15+ years (Dream A Dream Alumni) by offering the tools and foundational life skills necessary for career development, ran it’s summer programs and reached out to 120 young adults
  • In April the first ‘Outdoor Experiential camp’ for the year was conducted impacting 30 young adults.
  • Dream A Dream won the Silver award for the most socially innovative project at the Global sports forum, Barcelona.
  • Bobbymon George, head of programs represented Dream A Dream at the Street football network conference conducted by Big issue, Australia in the month of May, 2012
  • Annual Planning and Budgets completed for the year 2012-13


As you read this, 30 facilitators from Dream A Dream’s Life skills program are going through intensive training on ‘Creative Facilitation’ and gearing up for the beginning of another academic year. It is only with your support that we have reached so far and we would like to thank you for continuing to be the wind beneath the wings of thousands of young adults like Anitha.

The Dream walk of honour
The Dream walk of honour
The smile says it all -Dream Graduate Anitha
The smile says it all -Dream Graduate Anitha


Dr. Dave and Dr. Fiona Pearson
Dr. Dave and Dr. Fiona Pearson

Amongst the many Life Skills development programs run at Dream A Dream for young people from disadvantaged programs, one of our most intensive and high-impact programs is the Dream Mentoring Program. One of the most powerful ways for us to empower young adults and provide them the last-mile support in their crucial adolescent phase.


61 volunteers were shortlisted from over 80 volunteer applications this year for the Jan-Feb 2012 batch of volunteer mentors.


The Dream Mentoring Program has been running for 6 years now bringing together community volunteers and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Started with just 10 mentor-mentee pairs in 2007, the program today engages 50 mentors every year to work one-on-one with 50 young adults at the most crucial time of their adolescent life.


The training is conducted by Dr. Dave Pearson and Dr. Fiona Kennedy, Clinical Psychologists from UK who have been volunteering with us since 2006 and have extensive experience in the area of child and adolescent psychology. They returned once again this year to support the training for Dream A Dream’s mentoring program. As always, they have been amazing, keeping the group engaged, with their fantastic sense of humour, bringing a lot of fun to learning and also challenging everyone to unlearn and open their minds to deeper listening and validation.


The training was great! Fiona and Dave helped us understand what is to be a mentor. And we were taken care of so much, it felt good being there. As, a counsellor it was easy to understand the class. I also liked the way Fiona woke us up after a good lunch by making us do few stretching exercises! I am looking forward to meeting my mentee”, shared Mohsina Ahmed, a volunteer who was part of the training.


The training covered different aspects of child development psychology and skills practice needed for mentoring – child development, mental health, relationships, formulation, advanced formulation, validation, positive- negative reinforcements. 

Talking about her experience at the training, Diana Thomas said, " The concept of mentoring a child was explained in the most simple and effective manner by Fiona and Dave. Also, the course manual put together by them is extremely user friendly. All in all it was a really good experience."

The mentor manual authored by Dave and Fiona and published for the first time last year, have brought more depth to the training, allowing volunteers to read, remember concepts and practice.

At each session, volunteers engaged in role plays and group activities to practice skills in validation, formulation, positive-negative reinforcement, etc. This made the sessions interactive and really tested volunteers in terms of applying the skills learnt to a real-life situation with a young adult from a disadvantaged background.


At the end of the training, there was a greater understanding of behaviour of disadvantaged young people and how the forces of negative and positive reinforcements affect behaviour. The mentors came away with solid tools to engage in building strong personal connections with young people and helping them learn to solve their own challenges through the mentoring relationship.


Over the last 6 years, the program has had over 200 mentor-mentee relationships and has become one of the most intensive and high-impact programs for young people at Dream A Dream.


“I find myself missing my mentor the minute he leaves the centre. He has left me with enough advice and confidence to help me help my friends who go through the same difficulties as me. I feel confident.” ~ A young adult in the Dream Mentoring Program, 14 years


In order to scale the program, Dream A Dream is currently building an internal team of Master Trainers; Dave and Fiona are developing a Master Trainer’s Manual and we have just begun training staff at Partner NGOs to run their own mentor programs.


You can read some of the experiences of the program at the volunteer blog


PS: Dream A Dream is amongst the 8 finalists at the Global Sports Forum Community Trophies. Help us win the awards by casting your vote NOW. It will take just 2 seconds. The link is and the deadline is 15th February 2012

Dream Mentoring Manual
Dream Mentoring Manual
Mentors 2012 Batch
Mentors 2012 Batch



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Organization Information

Dream A Dream

Location: Bangalore, Karnataka - India
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Vishal Talreja
Bangalore, Karnataka India
$59,150 raised of $100,000 goal
753 donations
$40,850 to go
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