Sport
 India
Project #5718

Giving Children Wings to their Dreams

by Dream A Dream

Kishore (name changed) is a 10 year old boy studying 4th grade in Lord’s Convent High School in Bangalore, India. His father works in a small private firm and is the breadwinner of the family. His mother stays at home and takes care of Kishore and his 2 sisters.

Kishore is an intelligent young boy who keeps to himself and finishes his school work. He doesn’t interact much in Dream a Dream’s sessions and even though he has good friends he doesn’t share his thoughts with them. Kishore doesn’t like working in teams and prefers to do his work alone. Hence, he always avoids group activities and prefers his ideas to be presented in his own way.

Dream a Dream’s facilitator observed Kishore in every session and got an understanding of Kishore’s mindset. One fine day, the facilitator designed and conducted an innovative activity involving all the young people in the activity including Kishore. The aim of the activity is to create knowledge on how team work happens and how it can lead to great success. All the young people were divided into 2 groups for the session. The activity included a game of word building where each team’s winning chances depended on the understanding and cooperation between the team members. At the beginning of the activity Kishore didn’t interact much. But he slowly started playing the game and mingling with his team mates and was enjoying the game. The facilitator could see the change in Kishore’s behavior and attitude towards the activity. The session ended with the facilitator watching a happy Kishore interacting with his teammates.

After a few days the facilitator had a conversation with Kishore about his previous behavior and the changes he felt after the team building activity. For the first time, Kishore opened up and talked about why he finds it very tough working in a team. Kishore felt that his judgement alone is right and the other people in the team might put him down which will lead him towards failure. He also talked about how angry he always felt if he lost because of another team member’s fault.

The facilitator understood how Kishore felt and calmly gave Kishore the space he needed. That day in the reflection circle the facilitator gave a small speech about what it means to be in a team and how supporting each other will lead to success. The facilitator told the young people about the importance of trust and understanding in building a team. That day in the session Kishore understood the true meaning and value of team work. He slowly started exploring himself and now loves working with his classmates in a team. He shares his views in every reflection circle and listens to the thoughts his friends share with respect.

Kishore aims to become a doctor one day and serve the people in his community. There are many young people in Dream a Dream like Kishore who truly transform in the presence of a caring and compassionate adult. Dream a Dream is committed to empower thousands of young people like Kishore by helping them develop abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that will help them deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life.

However, it is not possible without your support. Thank you for being a committed supporter and we invite you to become a regular donor by signing up for the monthly donation options presented by Global Giving.

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When I first met Misba,9th Std, although I found her to be engaged in the activities and discussions during the session she was not serious about learning and implementing these skills in her day-to-day life. Initially, she was irregular and playful in the sessions, causing disruptions in the planned activities. In addition to this, she behaved erratically, attending other classes and activities while purposefully missing these sessions.

Misba was short tempered, often reacting harshly when people spoke about her in a negative manner. On 30th November 2016, during the session, her potential was uncovered. As a part of ‘Reflection Time’ she shared a poem she had written with the group. The manner in which she performed her poem, took everyone’s breath away. It represented mixed emotions, ranging from anger to sorrow. We could not discuss her poem during the session due to time constraints. However, when I personally interacted with her after the session, I found out about the problems she faced. Due to her ill health, she often missed classes at school. As a result, she required extra attention in order to enable her to catch up with the rest of the class. Unfortunately, her classmate viewed the extra help she received as preferential treatment and began teasing her for the same. She further felt that whenever she tries to participate and express her thoughts during the session, her classmates ignore her and refuse to pay any attention. Consequently, she began missing the Dream a Dream sessions. Having listened to her fears, I reassured her using my personal experiences. I built her trust in me as a silent guardian, and encouraged her to attend the sessions regularly.

Intuitively, I believed she would be more regular from the next session. As expected, she turned up and was enthusiastic and interactive throughout. The session focused on identifying the positive qualities that each child possessed. At the end of it, during ‘Reflection Time’ she shared her positive traits such as her friendly nature, her grasping power and her smile. She also made a genuine statement regarding her classmate’s comments about her personality, displaying her confidence and self-assurance.

She has begun to take initiative in the different activities during the sessions and has become better at expressing her thoughts and emotions. Misba says “Dream a Dream sessions have helped me gain confidence to think differently. I have let go of stage fright and have learnt to speak up and share my feelings in front of everyone. I will continue to learn more things in my life and one day I would like to become a doctor and serve the society.”

Vikram is a 9th grade student in Raza Excellent English School in Bangalore, India.  He is a calm young person who keeps his thoughts to himself. Vikram wasn’t very enthusiastic in participating in the After School Life Skills through Sports sessions and wouldn’t respond to anything his facilitator Raghu or fellow classmates said. After spending some time with Vikram, Raghu asked him why did he always look sad and what is keeping him from participating in the sessions. Vikram did not have an answer to that question. Hence, Raghu decided to give Vikram the space he needed.

A few weeks later Vikram approached Raghu and said he wanted to talk. Vikram told Raghu about how his father passed away 2 years ago and how his family has been in financial crisis ever since. Vikram said he does not have anybody to help him continue his studies and that he also considered the idea of going into daily wage work. Raghu attentively heard everything Vikram talked about and decided to calmly be there for Vikram.

After a few days Raghu conducted a session about ‘building relationships and communication’. In the session Raghu talked about his own struggle to overcome difficulties and making choices in life. Raghu then paired all the young people into groups of 2 and gave them 5 minutes to share their stories with their partners. After the activity Raghu was surprised to see that Vikram was the first to share his feelings in the reflection cycle with the entire group. Vikram said he was happy to share his thoughts and felt a lot more relaxed. From that day Vikram slowly started taking initiative to lead the warm up activity of the entire group.

In the last session of the academic year, Vikram was the first to eagerly raise his hand and talk about how the After School Life Skills Program through Sports brought positive changes in his life.  Vikram said “I learnt how to lead my life and deal with difficult situations. I build good relationship with people around me and made a lot of new friends. I really want to take this learning forward and be there for others whenever they need help.”

Teachers at Raza Excellent English School are happy to inform Raghu that Vikram has significantly improved in academics and is also showing interest in extracurricular activities. When asked about his dream, Vikram told Raghu that he wants to be a football player and use sports to bring positive impact in the lives of other young people like him.

There are many young people in Dream a Dream like Vikram who truly transform in the presence of a caring and compassionate adult. Dream a Dream has till date supported 5545 young people through the After School Life Skills Program. We are committed to empower thousands of young people like Vikram. However, it is not possible without your support. Thank you for being a committed supporter and we invite you to become a regular donor by signing up for the monthly donation options presented by Global Giving.

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Robert (name changed) is a 13 year old boy, studying 8th Grade in Annaswamy School in Bangalore, India. He lives with his parents, elder sister and a brother who are both in Pre-University College. His father works as a painter and mother as a housemaid. Robert has been part of Dream a Dream’s After School Life Skills Program through Sports for 3 years.

Robert’s teachers recognized him as an intelligent student but he was familiar to be the most notorious boy in the class. He would never listen to what others had to say and would tease and trouble fellow classmates during the sessions. Faisal (name changed), Robert’s facilitator felt Robert was a smart boy capable of doing well in school and sports if he would give a chance to himself.

When Faisal conducted a session about the topic “Re-Silent” he observed that Robert was disturbing fellow classmates, roaming around, and was trying to gain everyone’s attention. Faisal figured out that there was something that was disturbing Robert and making him uncomfortable.

After the session ended, Faisal decided to relate himself to Robert and share some of his own experiences in the reflection circle. Faisal talked about his childhood when he wouldn’t listen to the adults in his life be it his teachers or parents and how he would often get beat up because of his behavior and how angry or lonely he felt at times. After Faisal shared his experiences, 3 young people in the group came forward and shared their thoughts. All throughout the reflection circle Robert was silent and did not utter a single word. Faisal decided to be patient and give Robert the space and time he needed. In the next week Faisal observed that Robert was calm and kept to himself. Faisal asked if he wanted to share anything and Robert replied “nothing”.

In the following week, after the session ended and Faisal was packing his belongings to leave, Robert went up to him and said “Coach I want to talk.” Robert opened up and talked about how often he got scolded at home and school for his anger and adamant behavior and how sad and lonely he felt at all times. He felt nobody ever listens to him at school and he is ignored at home too. 

In that moment Faisal understood Robert was a young boy who is asking for empathy, care and someone to listen to. The reason for Robert’s anger and frustration was the lack of attention and understanding he wanted but didn’t receive from the people in his life. That day, Faisal had a conversation with Robert and put him in a safe space with a promise that he would be there to listen to Robert’s thoughts and feelings.

Robert later started participating in all the activities with energy and would come forward to support others whenever his teammates were in crisis. He even took initiative to lead activities to challenge himself to control and manage his anger and shared his thoughts and ideas with the group. 

There are many young people in Dream a Dream like Robert who truly transform in the presence of a caring and compassionate adult. Dream a Dream has till date supported 5545 young people through the After School Life Skills Program. We are committed to empower thousands of young people like Robert. However, it is not possible without your support. Thank you for being a committed supporter and we invite you to become a regular donor by signing up for the monthly donation options presented by GlobalGiving.

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Ramya (Name changed) is a 12 year old girl studying 6th Grade in Sadguru Sai Baba School in Bangalore, India. She comes from a family of 4 members. Her father is an auto rickshaw driver and mother a daily wage worker on construction sites nearby the community they live in. Ramya also has an elder sister.

Ramya always felt she had the potential to transform herself and perform better in school, but did not have a platform to express her talent albeit. This was when she was introduced to Dream a Dream’s After School Life Skills Program in the Medium of Arts at the age of 11. In the beginning days, Ramya was hesitant to interact with her friends and classmates. She would not say more than 3 to 4 words to anybody around her due to her fear of getting teased. Hence she was reluctant to attend Dream a Dream’s sessions too.

In the first session conducted by Dream a Dream, Ramya stuck to her friend Lakshmi and was content interacting only with her friend. The same pattern continued day after day. Observing this, Dream a Dream’s Life Skills facilitator spent a few minutes with Ramya to understand her better. Through the conversation with the facilitator, Ramya opened up and explained about her fear of interacting with people. The facilitator then understood Ramya’s issues and keeping them in mind, came up with an activity called “The Tom and Jerry Game” in which young people in the session move around to mingle and know each other in an interesting manner. That day for the first time Ramya responded in the session. She moved around and interacted with the other girls and boys in her class. In the next sessions she herself willingly came forward into the reflection circle and shared her thoughts.

After joining the Dream a Dream’s After School Life Skills Program, Ramya could measure the changes in her life. A few months after joining the program, she gained the confidence to interact better and also started coming forward to initiate the activities. It has been 3 years now and Ramya enjoys being a part of the sessions. Ramya says Dream a Dream’s facilitators are always supportive and create a safe space for her. She feels people around her now understand her emotions.

Dream a Dream believes that every young person is unique and responds to a caring and compassionate adult in their life. With this intention every facilitator in Dream a Dream works to create a safe space for young people coming from vulnerable backgrounds to attend Dream a Dream’s programs. We have till date impacted more than 60,000 young people each year through our programs. Thank you for being a committed supporter. We invite you to join us by becoming a regular donor by signing up for the monthly donation options presented by Global Giving. 

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Organization Information

Dream A Dream

Location: Bangalore, Karnataka - India
Website: http:/​/​www.dreamadream.org
Project Leader:
Vishal Talreja
Cofounder & CEO
Bangalore, Karnataka India

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