PROGRAM DESIGN CLARITY: We are hungry to know more about what exactly your model consists of. Please succinctly list a) what main activities are you doing with your beneficiaries, b) where you carry out the activities? c) how often? d) for how many hours? e) who delivers the services? and f) any other brief details
The core of all our work at Dream A Dream is to Empower children and young people from vulnerable backgrounds with Life Skills. This is achieved through a 3 pronged approach
1. The After School Life Skills Programme for children in 8-15 age group from Urban Slum communities through school partnerships. 20 - 30 participants per batch, one session a week for 2 hours and about 25-30 sessions a year between June - February delivered by Life Skills Facilitators that are employed and trained by Dream A Dream. 18 of the 36 Life Skills Facilitators are graduates from our programme.
2. The Dream Connect Programme for young people in the 14-19 age group focused on developing Life Skills for livelihood / career. 14-15 year olds get career workshops delivered by trained facilitators in schools and 16+ age group get skill development programmes through 2 Dream Connect Centers that offer computer education, spoken English, communication skills, money management and workplace readiness programmes through short-term modules combined with mentoring, scholarship, internship, college admissions and job placement support.
3. The Teacher Development Programme empowers educators with life skills to deepen their impact on children and young people. Each batch of 20-30 participants get 4 workshops of 2 days each spread over 6-8 months delivered by 2 Lead Trainers from Dream A Dream. Each workshop uses play and experiential learning to unlock creativity and empathy in participants.
INSPIRATION: What do you consider the most important trends or evidence that inspire you to believe the world is ready to Re-imagine Learning? Please elaborate.
It is a different world. Barriers of class, caste are breaking. There is a fair chance for every individual, irrespective of the backgrounds they come from, to rise above their circumstances and live a life of empathy, nurturing themselves and the world around them. There has never been a better time than now, for children and young people to grow up with Empathy, love and care to deal with the complex challenges of an unpredictable and fast changing world. Every young person, irrespective of their background, needs to be and can be a changemaker.
LEARNING THROUGH PLAY: What does “learning through play” mean to you and why it is a must-have, instead of a nice to have?
We at Dream A Dream believe that when we have powerful learning experiences, those experiences transform us and we can't go back to who we were, we can only move forward and grow from there. Play intrinsically creates powerful learning experiences - helps break barriers, break stereotypes, builds and nurtures relationships, creates laughter and fun and reconnects with the joy that is life.
In an increasingly divided and complex world, Play is critical to to bring people together, unlock creativity, nurture empathy in each of us and help us find solutions together.
SUSTAINABILITY: Please list a quick breakdown of your funding, indicating the percentage that comes from each source.
Grants - 19%; Corporate Foundations - 34%; Corporate CSR Programmes - 5%; Partnerships - 9%; Individual donors - 19%; Events & Campaigns - 14%
MODEL: How does your mission relate to your business model (i.e. Non-profit, for-profit or hybrid)?
We run on a non-profit model because we believe each individual in society needs to invest in the future of the most vulnerable children. We don't look at contributions as donations but as investments to make our communities safe for our children, to foster empathy and respect, to nurture dignity for each kind of work and to most importantly appreciate unique differences in each individual irrespective of the backgrounds we come from.
FUNDING PRIORITIES: If your organization were given $20K in unrestricted funding today, how would you use it? Why?
The need for Life Skills for our children is critical and urgent to prepare them for a complex, unpredictable future. One organization alone cannot make this happen. We would invest the funding in building a movement towards "Life Skills for all children" across the eco-system.
PARTNERSHIPS: Tell us about your partnerships that enhance your approach.
42 Schools partners to engage over 10000 children and young people in various Life Skills Programme. 18 Partners NGOs / Schools transforming over 500 teachers. PYE Global, A Global youth development organization that is helping us train and empower over 50 Lead Trainers to scale our programme to 2200 teachers. Grassroots Soccer and PYE Global helping develop curriculums. Dr. Dave and Dr. Fiona helping assess Life skills impact.
COLLABORATIONS: Have you considered or initiated partnerships with any of the other Challenge Pacesetters? If so, please share.
We have initiated discussions with LEMA - Literacy Education and Math Lab for possibly bringing their programme to India. We would like to explore partnership with River - Rishi Valley and Masti in India. Consider Women Win to strengthen our gender sensitivity curriculum & Global Cardboard Challenge
VISION: If you had unlimited funding, and you could fast forward 15 years to when your program has been able to achieve wild success - what will it have achieved?
1. Where Unique differences in each individual are appreciated and celebrated.
2. Where an individual can live and make life choices with dignity irrespective of the backgrounds they come from.
3. Where each child has the skills to overcome adversity in a nurturing, safe environment
4. Where we respond to challenges with empathy and find creative solutions that work for everyone.
5. Where living with joy is celebrated.
IMPACT - KEY METRICS: Please list the key data points that you would cite as evidence that you are able to achieve lasting learning outcomes. Please also share one data point for which you most hope to see better results over time
Children and young people in our programme show significant and consistent improvement in 5 life skills measured - Ability to take initiative, ability to manage conflict, ability to overcome difficulties and solve problems, ability to interact with each other and ability to understand and follow-through instructions. The Dream Life Skills Assessment Scale (attached) helps us measure this year on year. Hope to see better Empathy.
APPROACHES: Given the complexity of play, it is not surprising that there have been numerous research attempts to categorize the different types and approaches! Please indicate which of the following your project focuses on.
Physical Play, Symbolic Play, Creating a Supportive Socio-Emotional Environment, Providing a Range of Opportunities (providing the equipment and materials needed for various types of play), Adults Participating (Ensuring adults are able to play alongside children), Challenging Play (play that disrupts - where rules are disregarded and levels of imagination are high), Other (please specify).
Other (please specify)
Life Skills Development through Play; Empowering Teachers with Life Skills through Play
AFFILIATION: Please specify if your organization has any existing affiliations with the LEGO Group.