Living your Dream started in November 2012 when Diana Martínez, volunteer in the orphanage Casa do Caminho, in Xérem, Brazil, gave the first English lesson to one of the former residents: Davi Porfirio. Bart Bijen, the former Director of this orphanage, was looking for an English teacher for Davi so he could get ready for his year abroad in the Netherlands. Soon, more students joined reaching 14 in less than three months. The year abroad is attractive to them and they know that if they start learning this language they can have more possibilities to ‘live their dreams’. Performing well at school, being respectful and motivated towards education are the main requirements of this project. Diana Martinez and Bart Bijen found another English teacher when Diana M had to leave Brazil. This person was Diana Nijboer.
When Diana N joined Living Your Dream, they decided to officially create this project. Living your Dream’s mission is to educate motivated children and teenagers whose access to education is either denied or limited, helping them to gain the necessary instruction to be able to lead a promising future. In the span of one year, we are very proud of our achievements. What started as a ‘dream’ to us, continues to inspire and motivate us. We love what we do. From every email, Skype meeting, English lesson and the basic inwards and outwards of our student’s lives, Living Your Dream is now a part of our life. We would like to keep doing this for many years to come.
Increasing the number of students
This organization started with only one student. As it stands, we have 17 students spread around Rio de Janeiro. Some of them live in Xerem ( the community where the first class took place) while others live in Renascer in El Pilar Orphanage in Duque de Caxias (40 minutes away from Xerem). Living your Dream started by teaching English to children that lived in Orphanages, however as word of mouth spread, students outside the ‘orphanages’ wanted to participate as well. Living Your Dream welcomes every child, believing that everyone deserves education and a chance to realize their dreams. Nevertheless, Living Your Dreams’ Mission is clear: providing education for children and teenagers who don’t have access to it, ultimately assisting them to realize their dreams.
Davi in the Netherlands
Davi arrived in the Netherlands in August 2013. Since then everything has been about meeting new people, learning a new culture and living his dream abroad. Davi goes to school once a week, attends Dutch classes 3 times per week and works every weekday at a local electrical company. He lives with the wonderful Pirson Family. The rest of the small community have also been welcoming and comforting to Davi. One of Davi’s favourite things is football! He trains two days a week and plays a game every Sunday. His English is reaching almost Advance level and his Dutch is slowly improving. We are sure he is going to be trilingual by the end of this year. We also want to express our sincere gratitude to RKK – National Dutch TV Channel that recently broadcast ed an outstanding Documentary on Davi’s life in the Netherlands. You can watch it here:
Vocational courses for Luciano and Vitor – thanks to donations
We listen carefully to our students’ dreams and do everything possible to get them closer to realizing them. Thanks to our Monthly Reports and constant evaluation of our students’ performance, we are able to see their progress and award the most outstanding students. Luciano and Vitor are the ones who got the best grades in the last evaluations and the reason Living Your Dream granted them to vocational courses. Luciano – We are extremely thankful to our sponsors since their donations allowed us to support Luciano’s dream to become an actor. Escola Sesi is part of The Sesi. This is the largest national social institute created by the Brazilian Industry and its purpose is to offer a better level of education. In addition to education, the Sesi offers great theatre courses. Luciano started school at the Sesi on February 10th in one of the Theatre courses. The first few weeks were very exciting for him since everything was new: new school friends, new material, a very different level of education and different ways of teaching, Luciano attends theatre classes twice a week and for that he needs to get up very early to arrive on time. He really loves it and does it with a big smile. Vitor – Vitor is working hard to make his dream of becoming a doctor real. He’s taking a preparation course at one of the best institutions in Duque de Caxias and studying overtime. In the morning he attends Primary School and after, he takes the bus to Caxias. He returns home late at night due to traffic. This course prepares him for better opportunities to enter High School next year and he loves the course. He’s very excited about this opportunity and where it will lead, even though this takes up most of his time. Everyone at Living Your Dream is extremely proud of them. The brothers have shown that they are able to adapt to change well and embrace it. Even now that they have to move out of Casa Do Caminho Orphanage where they have lived for six years, and into the new Orphanage in El Pilar, they still remain positive. They are focused on their future and on making the most out of every opportunity which presents itself. Motivation is our motto.
New volunteers arriving!
We are very happy to announce the arrival of three international volunteers to Living your Dream! They joined our team at the beginning of March 2014 and will stay with us for 5-6 months. We prepared an Orientation Weekend for them so they get to know all the students and the community. They are slowly adapting to their new roles and we hope they can help our Students in realising their dreams. Their main responsibilities will be English lessons, art projects, fundraising campaigns, and partnerships with external institutions.
We have a variety of Projects we are fundraising for: Vocational courses for Luciano and Vitor and transportation costs tuition for Davi’s University when he returns to Brazil in August 2014, an exchange program for Escarlett to Spain and other courses available for the rest of our students. How can you contribute? – We have set up a PayPal Donation system on our webpage where you can donate any quantity you want.
*At the bottom of this newsletter you can see a table which show where the donations are going and how much money we have raised so far.
Spread the word – Thank you
You can find us everywhere and we would really appreciate if you could spread the word! Review us on Tripadvisor & Yelp, Like us on Facebook, give us a + on Google +, Tweet us on Twitter, or contact us through our Webpage! By learning Brazilian Portuguese at our Language School, you will be one step closer to make these students’ dreams come true!
Financial Report 2013 – March 2014
To end our first newsletter we would like to present the Annual Financial Report (2013 to March 2014) with the financial forecast for the rest of 2014.
|Living Your Dream Financial Report March 2014|
|Casa do Caminho Language School||Davi Netherlands||€ 11,989.52||R$ 38,846.04|
|Various individual donors||General||€ 4,430.97||R$ 14,356.34|
|Various individual donors||Davi & family Brazil||€ 6,008.34||R$ 19,467.02|
|Various individual donors||Vitor & Luciano||€ 167.00||R$ 541.08|
|Total income||€ 22,595.83||R$ 73,210.49|
|Davi exchange year Netherlands||Davi||€ 11,989.52||R$ 38,846.04|
|Luciano Sesi school||Luciano||€ 679.94||R$ 2,203.00|
|Vitor preparation course||Vitor||€ 215.74||R$ 699.00|
|Daiana’s exchange program||Daiana||€ 0.00||R$ 0.00|
|Teachers travel and educations costs||Diana Nijboer||€ 399.07||R$ 1,293.00|
|Total expenses||€ 13,284.27||R$ 43,041.04|
|Still available for projects||€ 9,311.56||R$ 30,169.44|
|Projected expenses 2014|
|Davi expenses until return to Brazil in August||Davi||€ 1,500.00||R$ 4,860.00|
|Luciano’s Sesi program will run to Dec. 2014.||Luciano||€ 1,975.31||R$ 6,400.00|
|Vitor’s preparation course will run to Dec 2014.||Vitor||€ 866.36||R$ 2,807.00|
|Teachers travel and educations costs||Diana Nijboer||€ 1,915.74||R$ 6,207.00|
|€ 6,257.41||R$ 20,274.00|