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A widely-ignored aspect of educational interventions is childhood adversity. Young people from vulnerable backgrounds come from experiences of adversity which can include abuse, abandonment, experiences of crime, extreme poverty, poor nutrition and/or violence. Adversity affects a child’s ability to stay in school, pay attention and engage in learning, build healthy relationships, make healthy life choices and breakout of poverty.
Mainstream solutions focus on vocational skilling and school enrollment, but do not consider the impact of adversity. These solutions will have limited impact because they do not address the non-organic component of adversity, known as a failure to thrive which is observed in young people’s inability to demonstrate age-appropriate behaviours like paying attention and managing conflict. The lack of life skills is one of the most critical gap areas stopping young people to overcome adversity and develop the skills needed to achieve well-being for themselves in the fast-changing 21st century.
Dream a Dream’s mission is to help young people rise out of adversity and thrive. We believe the answer is life skills, which are competencies that help people make informed decisions, solve problems, think creatively, communicate effectively, build healthy relationships, and manage their lives productively. These skills affect socioeconomic outcomes and can be life-changing for children from vulnerable backgrounds.
The Career Connect Programme is established as a center based model - a learning and technology space for young people in the 15-23 year age category. We run two centers in under-resourced neighborhoods of Bangalore where programmes in Computer Education, Spoken English, Communication Skills, Money Management and Workplace Readiness are integrated with a high-impact life skills approach.