“Growth” is the word that best captures Dream A Dream’s journey so far this year. We have now reached out to 4739 young people directly through our life skills programme. Our Dream Team is growing and today we have 70 member staff with sharp design and delivery skills.
With this report I would want to share with you a few highlights so far and the story of Goutham (name changed), from the words of our Life Skills Facilitator, Kishen.
Meet Goutham, who is studying in 4th standard and has been part of our Dream life skills programmes since the start of this year.
The Challenge: When we started sessions, he was very mischievous and would sit in the back bench of the class and disturb his friends. He was never attentive in class and showed the same behaviour in our sessions. He would pretend to be doing the assigned activity during the sessions. One day, I sat with him and spoke with him regarding this issue and asked him to be attentive in the classes and to understand the instructions carefully before he does the activity. During the next session in the Reflection circle I asked Goutham to take initiative and speak about the experience he had in the activity. He said “I don’t know what to speak.“ After the session that day, we both had another chat for 20 minutes and I explained that if he had participated in the activity with interest and dedication he would have been able to speak like the others. Also I explained what life skills are and why they are important just like academics is in our life.
The Change: From that day Goutham has realized and has been showing interest in sessions and also participates very actively. Now, he loves the sessions so much that he asks me to take more than 3 classes in a week. He follows all instructions carefully and asks for clarifications. He also takes initiative to lead the group.
The Dream Power: At Dream A Dream, we take pride in our approach to bring 'care and empathy' into our engagement with young people through Life Skills Facilitators like Kishen. Kishen’s ability to build a personal bond with Goutham and gain his trust; Kishen’s ability to not give up on Goutham and create a safe and supportive learning space for Goutham are hallmarks of Dream A Dream’s unique approach to learning.
Organization and Programme Updates and Highlights:
We look forward for your continued support and an enduring relationship.
We have kick started our core programmes for this year and there is excitement all around and its raining highlights. Special thanks to all of you for being a tremendous support in helping us continue to empower and transform lives of young people from vulnerable backgrounds.
With this update we would want to share with you story of Parvathi(name changed), who was part of Dream Life Skills Program,
Meet Parvathi, a 13-year-old, who has been part of our Life skills through Creative Arts Programme since the last 4 years. Her father is a construction worker and her mother is a tailor.
The Challenge: Parvathi was not very interested in attending theCreative Arts sessions, would not interact with anyone, especially the male facilitators and boys. She would just interact with girls and most of the time would keep to herself due to some family issues in spite of efforts from the facilitator in explaining to her the consequences of not sharing and the benefits of interacting with others. The facilitator started trying to make her feel comfortable by saying Hi to her on every session, asking her questions, and slowly making more and more effort to reach out to her and talk.
The Change: After spending4 years in Dream Life Skills Through Creative Arts programme; at the sessions now, she is more engaged and has learned to take strong decisions and has developed interest in creative arts. She is now more interactive with everyone to include boys and more willing to express what she has learned freely.
Her dream is to become an art teacher. Facilitator says, "she is naturally gifted at teaching." She spends her free time teaching her friends and family various art skills and projects. Parvathi has made a blackboard at home using materials her father had brought home to teach the neighborhood children. She has now built her skills to teach and conducts classes at home.
The Dream Power: “In the classroom, Parvathi is more talkative in class, which has actually become a problem for the teacher who has to control her at times. However, she is a very hard working student and is considered the class leader. When her teacher is busy, Parvathi is asked by her teacher to handle the class for 10-15 minutes on her own. Partivthi is capable and willing to take on this leadership responsibility.” –Parvathi’s teacher.
(At Teacher's training)
Organization and Programme Updates and Highlights:
We look forward to your continued support and enduring relationship!
Girish is a 17 year old Dream Graduate. He is currently pursuing his 2nd year of Pre-University at Vijaya College in Bangalore. His family consists of 5 members – Grandmother, Father, Mother, younger brother & Girish. He is the eldest son. His father works as a gardener and his mother as a domestic worker. Girish has been part of the Dream Football programme for over 3 years.
During this 9th grade, he was introduced to Makkala Jagriti, an NGO that was running a learning centre in his neighbourhood. He joined the learning centre to pick up some computer skills. It was during these visits that he was introduced to Dream A Dream and its various life skills programs. Girish was also keen to learn and play football but was unable to join the school team because he didn’t know how to play the game. Dream A Dream introduced the “Life Skills Thru Football” program for children and young people at Makkala Jagriti and Girish saw an opportunity to make his dream come true.
Girish initially struggled to pick up the skills. In his own words, “I was not at all playing correctly at beginning stage. But my coach instead of scolding me or punishing me, he encouraged me a lot. That encouragement and support of my coach and my parents gave me a will power in playing football.”
During his 10th grade, he became the captain of the School Football Team, a reflection of the self-confidence he was picking up along with the football skills. He ably led his school team in many tournaments. In one such tournament, Girish mentions that they reached upto the semi-finals and then lost a tough match. He says, “My team was very disappointed when we lost the match but I still encouraged my team.”