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Kids Have a Dream

"Kids Have A Dream” is a global exhibition project visualizing childrens’ dreams for the future. More than 3,000 youth (10-15yr) have participated in 23 countries so far. After each workshop the dreams are collected and exhibited worldwide.

Photo of Anne Kjaer Riechert
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I started my project "Kids Have a Dream" in 2006, while I was living in South Africa. At the time I was working for Nkosi´s Haven, an organization started (post-mortem) by a HIV-positive 12-year-old boy and his adoptive mother. They taught me how one creatively confident child can, not only inspire change in his local community, but indeed inspire change in an entire country. 

I wanted other youth to share their dreams for the future too. Through Kids Have a Dream, youth take part in local Dream Workshop, hosted in their village or city by a person they trust. During the workshop they are encouraged to visualize their personal dream for the future through the medium of a drawing or painting. At the Dream Workshop each youth is asked to draw or paint about his/her dream, to end the legendary sentence “I have a dream…” There should be no writing in the picture, since this makes it difficult to understand in other countries.

The “Kids Have A Dream” exhibition is a collection of selected dream drawings. The exhibition travels through some of the participating countries, where it is presented to students, the wider public, politicians and the media, for educational and fundraising purposes.

On Oct 26th I will organize a new round of dream workshops in Berlin, Cape Town, Jamla (Nepal) and Katadde (Uganda). I hope many more countries will join too. Let me know if you would like to organize one too!

WANT TO RED MORE? I was asked to write this blog post for Desmond Tutu Foundation about my project. Enjoy!


Join the conversation:

Photo of LREI 5th Graders

This is very creative! I think this will make some kids more creative. I love this idea!

Photo of Arjan Tupan

Love it, Anne, but you already know that. I'm very happy to see that you've contributed your project here. Awesome. I hope, and trust, it will inspire many!

Photo of Anne Kjaer Riechert

Thank you Arjan. It is a little hard to capture 7 years of insight. So, I kept it a general description and hope the videos will drive some inspiration too. I hope I can put my experiences into play as the creative process unfolds! Looking forward to it

Photo of Ashley Jablow

I agree with Arjan, I'm so glad you posted this here, Anne! Great to hear about your progress.

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Anne, thanks sharing this great inspiration. It is indeed not necessarily easy to get all the insights for such a rich project. Yet, the video provides a great feel from the opening it offers to these children.
I'm just curious of how the workshops are set up and how the question is formulated.
An important point made in the video is the importance of the facilitator who has to be trusted. I also like the fact that adults could share to: it shows how this project is creating dialogues and the children are inspiring adults.
The medium and the format reminded me a bit of Sarah's comics workshop:

Photo of Anne Kjaer Riechert

I am happy to be back too - it feels like returning to the family! Anne-Laure, you are very right that a key element for Kids Have a Dream is the fact the the workshops are carried out "on local level - by locals". It keeps the overhead low and encourages local engagement. When I run the workshops (*which I am sometimes asked to do), the kids are mostly excited to "meet a foreigner", not so excited about their own dreams. It is important to be a role model, but I think it is more useful to help create local role models.

Photo of Anne Kjaer Riechert

With regards to the point about "trust" it is important when working with minors, obviously. But it is also important for the process. A teacher/social worker who already knows the child, can dig deeper and ask smarter questions, than an outsider can.

It is however a challenge to educate the teachers so they know how to ask the right kind of open-ended questions and not give any answers or the impression that there is a right an wrong answer. That kills the creativity.

To educate the teachers I have a peadagogical guideline that I send to the teachers in advance of the workshop. Then I encourage them to design the workshop themselves and present their suggestion in a skype call with me. Together we then come up with the plan of how to run the workshop.

My future plan is to create a network of teachers who has done the workshops before, so they can inspire and learn from eachother. That will have a bigger impact. I try hard to make myself redundant, basically!