Ration kit distribution in our partner school

As the 2nd COVID -19 wave crippled India and chaos 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. In the month of February 2021, the team ensured that the Career Connect Centres and the After School Life Skills programs moved online completely as COVID-19 positive cases were on the rise. However, what did come as a surprise was the magnitude of the problem, the…

On 23rd March 2020, India went into a country-wide full lockdown with a 4-hour notice and life as we knew it changed overnight. As we tried to make sense of what was happening around us, we offered an invitation through a 3-part article that we wrote. It was an invitation for all of us to pause. To just breathe. Take a moment of stillness before we respond. Because in that moment, is when new insights could emerge. Take that time from panic to give way to clarity and allow for us to potentially offer a whole new response, something different…

India is the world’s fifth-largest economy with a GDP of $2.9 trillion according to the World Economic Outlook (October 2019). India aims to become the fastest-growing major economy in the world piggybacking on its biggest structural advantage of a young population in an ageing world. Presently, around 1 million people join our country’s workforce every month. By 2041, India with about 1.3 billion is poised to strike a demographic sweet spot when the percentage of our working population would soar. Therefore investment in quality education for the better future of our children is extremely important. Unfortunately, the country’s expenditure on…

“Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.” ~ Arundhati Roy

As the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, closure of schools remains one of the most visible means of far reaching impact on young people. According to UNESCO, the education of nearly 1.6 billion pupils in 190 countries has so far been affected — that’s 90% of the world’s school-age children. Never before have so many children been out of school at the same time…

A 3-part series on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on India’s education system and an invitation to a new global movement in education — #WhatIf #KindnessIsTheNewNormal

Part 3: How could our education systems respond to the COVID crisis — An Invitation to a Global Movement to transform Education

Emergence: Zendala by Suchetha Bhat

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.


Kessler, the world’s foremost expert on grief, in a recent HBR article outlined the 6 stages of loss that we are experiencing across the world in response to the pandemic. He outlines that the discomfort we are feeling is ‘grief’. Both about what is currently happening and anticipatory grief, because the future is uncertain. This is in response to a pandemic which on last count has taken over 200,000 lives and counting.

In addition to the ‘discomfort’ described above, which is the most prevalent feeling, let us now add the anxiety…

A 3-part series on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on India’s education system and an invitation to a new global movement in education — #WhatIf #KindnessIsTheNewNormal

Part 2: What is the current crisis teaching us about our education system?

Balance: Zendala by Suchetha Bhat

As the impact of the pandemic unfolds, it is becoming abundantly clear that traditional learning models and schools have ill-equipped us and our children to understand, make meaning, and respond and adapt to the uncertainty and vulnerabilities emerging from the current crisis.

The last few years have seen the discourse around education reform moving towards making children work-ready for jobs of the future. An approach that has become outdated due to 3 main reasons: -

1. The future is already here!

The oft-repeated assumption that children would have to face an uncertain job market and a fast-changing world a few…

A 3-part series on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on India’s education system and an invitation to a new global movement in education — #WhatIf #KindnessIsTheNewNormal

Part 1: COVID-19 and its impact on children from marginalized communities

Perspective: A Zendala by Suchetha Bhat

The United Nations has described the global scale of education disruption from COVID-19 as “unparalleled”. The 2019–20 Coronavirus pandemic has affected educational systems worldwide, leading to widespread closures of schools, universities and colleges. As of 13 April 2020, approximately 1.725 billion students have been affected due to school closures in response to the pandemic. According to UNESCO monitoring, 192 countries have implemented nationwide closures and 5 have implemented local closures, impacting about 90 percent of the world’s student population.

While students across the board have been impacted by the pandemic, it is important to explore the severe impact on children…

Teacher from a Dream a Dream Partner School using the Life Skills Approach in her Classroom

Manasvi*, a 7-year old girl would often come late to school. Tired with this constant behaviour, her teacher would either not allow her to enter the class or make her stand behind; hoping that Manasvi would change her attitude. But, the situation didn’t improve. Rather, Manasvi became irregular and the few days she would come in, there was always a fear on her face. But one day, when a worried Manasvi entered class late again, she was in for a pleasant surprise. Her teacher neither shouted nor punished her. Instead, he took her to the side and empathetically asked the…

India has the highest number of children suffering from stunted growth. It is estimated that there are at least 48 million stunted children under the age of five (39% of under-five children). Stunted growth not only affects a child’s height but also impinges on their emotional, social and cognitive development (Source: Caught Short, WaterAid, 2016).

The consequence of malnutrition in the first 1000 days from conception till the age of two results in stunted growth. …

What can happen when a young, 11-year old boy is kept under police’s observation for a week for stealing a toy bicycle? *Mahesh, a bright and resourceful child came from a disadvantaged background. After losing his father, his mother gave up work and resorted to alcohol, leaving him and his younger sister to fend for themselves. Unable to deal with the sudden circumstances, he began stealing things such as stationery, clothes, and toys to sell it at the local kabadiwallah (garbage dealer). With the few rupees he would earn, he would feed himself and his sister.

Vishal Talreja, CEO and…

Dream a Dream

We empower young people from vulnerable backgrounds to overcome adversity and flourish in a fast changing world, using a creative life skills approach.

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