Dreams Can Be Foundation, Johnstown, United Stateshttp://www.dreamscanbe.org/
Raised so far: £1,672.00
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Dreams Can Be Foundation, Johnstown, United Stateshttp://www.dreamscanbe.org/
The project gives 100 kids opportunities for learning, outlets for creativity & expression & physical exercise promoting peaceful community development and steering youth away from violence
The project transforms the lives of children from this urban city in Sao Paulo where 25% of youth have mothers under 18 years of age. These potential victims of social marginalization are easily led to a life of crime; suffer a high incidence of death through violence; live in extreme poverty; drug trafficking and crime can seem like the most financially and socially rewarding option. To be poor in Brazil means to be disenfranchised from the wider society and the opportunities that come with it.
We work with youth through educational activities & circus arts. The kids also create shows for the community that can reach as many as 2100 people with healthy messages. These are positive forms of entertainment that keep the youth involved.
Providing 100 children healthy alternatives to poverty inflicted violence via activities that combine education, technology, & fun for children in idle conditions; leading them out of a cycle of violence & adding to the leisure of the community
This update was translated by staff and volunteers of Dreams Can Be Foundation August, 2008 1546 - 100 Needy Kids off the Street and Productive – Lona das Artes Hello- this is the Project “Lona das Artes” and in one year we had a “triple jump” in conquests, partnerships, structural, organizational and institutional growth of our projects. One of the greatest conquests was our long awaited headquarters, the creation of communitarian programs, awards for work done with youth, a seminar with subjects about diversity, environment and racial discrimination. We also know that we still have a lot of things to do in the communities where we serve youth such as the construction of a multimedia center, the acquisition of basic orthodontic services , materials for Spanish, music and circus lessons. The dreams are high and happily we can always count on many dreamers like us; who like us have the intention to reduce social inequalities. Providing joy and fun that only the circus world can bring. “RESPECTABLE PEOPLE WELCOME TO THE “ LONA DAS ARTES” , WHERE EVERYTHING CAN HAPPEN” The construction of the headquarters of the project is almost done, we foresee our inauguration in October of 2008, with an office, dressing-room, two bathrooms and a kitchen. Around our Big Top, that currently serves of 250 youth with social circus lessons, percussion, dance and theater classes. This headquarters has been under construction for one year, initiated with the help of the people from the community, who collect, bricks, cement, wood, donated labor and a lot of little donations. But to meet the demands of children entering the project we are still in need of more supporters, donors and volunteers to keep up. Currently we trying a program for economic inclusion, where we take the most disciplined and responsible youth adults to events at malls, companies, and seasonal gatherings and perform shows. With this we attempt to obtain the sustainability of the NGO and at the same time to generate economic resources for the adolescents that lack solid alternatives for inclusion in the economy. We strive to have productions of the highest quality. To see a little of this program click the link. below http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksoyhCMzZ0A Weslley Elói, his father in prison, his mother dead from cancer, arrives at the project in September of 2006 invited by companions, very introverted and emotional; Weslley identified with the techniques of individual training and chooses the contortion as a modality of circus arts. With time the playful dynamic of groups and games at work in the social circus programs form intra/interpersonal experiences that begin to make a difference in the communication and in the dialogue of these types of youth. This was the case with Weslley. The project then integrated him to other modalities, such as fabric acrobatics (as seen in theater such as Cirque du Soleil) and mini-trampoline, his evolution was huge, and through a partnership with the Secretary of Sports of Campinas we sent him to practice with the Olympic Gymnasts, in May of 2008 he took second place in the regional eliminations, bringing great pride to the educators who had followed him. At the beginning of the year spontaneously he suggested to learn and to give workshops and to re-pass what he has learned from the project. Today Weslley is a monitor in training in the program of formation of educators. At the start of our projects activities, the founder observed some singular problems in the children who began coming to the projects. Many had similarities in their aggressiveness, crying, shyness, their lack of ability to relate and even in their poor nutrition. The explanation was founded in the family structure where it contained aggression to the youth, abuses and lack of options, and in the difficulties in living in a destitute community. These symtoms have been shaped in recent years through work in different disciplines, guided activities and the integration of the families into the project through weekly meetings, seeking support and the basis of the project. “The parents participate, they can see the learning of the children and they learn together, of course. “Here it is forbidden to smoke and to drink”, emphasizes Rodrigo. The group “Best Age” (women with more than 60 years old), has held activities in the community for more than a decade, also uses the space for the handicraft workshops, painting and gymnastics. They have begun giving their knowledge to youth ones. On Saturdays, in two classes (4PM and 8PM), the space changes to “ Cine-circo” , where we show films of the traditional Cirque du Soleil. “The presentations involve the community and discussions happen after the exhibitions”, say the founder. Also on Saturdays, lessons of Spanish and examinations by dentists, take place at the project “Smile of the Clown” . The next steps are focusing on overcoming social inclusion and to extend the program of economic inclusion of the youth through new partnerships, collaborators, sponsors and basically supporters of the project. Inside of the program we will have the outcome of artistic shows (where it will include technique, operational, production and cast) and Malls (through workshops and performances) a self sustainable program of quality, economic generation of income, strengthening of the involved families and growth of the self esteem of these youth. “We believe in the success of this new program because we constructed the necessary basis over the years” The contribution of the donors from Global Giving is so important to us and we welcome all their partnership, through these resources, we gained acrobatic mattresses and a projector for the program CINE-CIRCO (exhibition of free films for the popular communities, without access to movie theaters and entertainment), instruments of juggling equipment and the training of two youth educators. Therefore on behalf of the 443 people served by the project and between family and youth, and educators we want to be thankful for the support that you have given and we invite you to know more about the project through our site (www.lonadasartes.org), all aid is welcome. Thank you!
(Progress Report written by project staff and translated from original Portuguese)
The progress that Lona das Artes has achieved lately owes a good deal to the established partnerships and the the trustworthiness of the institution. The seriousness and commitment to make a difference in the fight against the problems suffered by the less fortunate, transforms us in protagonists in the fight against social inequality.
In terms of increasing the number of participants, a big constant discussion is that we cannot replace the function of the government, and much less businesses that judge success in numbers. We invest in quality, in the level of debates, discussions, and circus techniques. We offer quality experiences through our partnerships, and cultural field trips. With this form of acting, we help the youths to overcome obstacles, challenges, and look for new goals. The youths in our project transform themselves into consciousness raisers in the community, where their principal target is the family circle. With a natural evolutionary process, we conquer new spaces, partnerships, supporters, as such being able to give an opportunity for new youths to enroll in the project.
The community is the principal supporter of our project, in this way we construct a "house" from bottom to top. Over the past four years we have been honored by the local authorities, councilors, municipal governments, deputies, and by the community and its leaders, like the presidents of neighborhood associations. This type of recognition encourages us to continue with the formula, affirming ourselves that the role of our NGO is being fulfilled.
In the project we always try to give the youth the opportunity to find their own path with dignity. We have a number of students that have in turn become teachers, as youths with a perspective on the future are graduating they have managed to apply the knowledge acquired in the project to their daily lives. 2 participants have been hired at well-known circuses in Brazil and others have won scholarships to private circus schools.
We have recently received BR$192.00 from Global Giving and this amount is being used to purchase a acrobatic "crash" safety mat as the current one we use has badly deteriorated