&dreamsmatter is a project directed at vulnerable youths in the Hague. With the help of &dreamsmatter, young people can make their dreams come true. By working on those dreams, they enhance their own influence on attaining a positive future. They do not have to do this alone! They each get a coach fitted to their requirements, who will guide in this process. Participating in the programme will take approx 12 months and costs € 1800. By 2019, we intend to offer at least 10 youths a chance to take part in an &dreamsmatter programme. Support is very much needed.

Join in and view: www.voorjebuurt.nl/dreamsmatter (English version available)

Vulnerable young adults and their dreams

Youngsters who move in and out of youthcare often deal with unstable situations at home and are usually lacking a support network. Due to their circumstances,  many of them leave school without qualifications. In short,  this is a group that requires a personal approach.

But as well as their problems, those youths also have their dreams ; dreams of settling down and starting a family one day, dreams of becoming a famous guitarist touring the big festivals, dreams of baking great cakes, dreams of going on holiday with friends. These dreams can be the instigator of recovery on several levels for these kids. By making your dreams come true, you will master your own learning abilities. A 21st century skill which will help give shape to your own life.

&Dreamsmatter’s in practice

A volunteer from the city who believes in the dream of the youngster, is joined up with him or her and will help them to give shape to their dreams. Together, they will find opportunities within the city which will help accomplish their dreams. The community (neighbourhood, city and its inhabitants) are actively stimulated to join in and come up with these solutions. In this way ,we form a sustainable support system for them. &Dreamsmatter is above all a journey which the youths, together with their coaches, undertake. A journey based on a dream that  hasn’t yet crystallized entirely. The journey young adults make through this programme is one of talent discovery, of enhancing knowledge, of daring to go ahead and of cultivating one’s network. In this way, all kinds of positive new alliances with people from the community who are committed will start to develop around these youngsters which will contribute to making their dreams come true. How ‘cool’ is that: other people are positively involved in fulfilling your dreams and wishes!

Voluntary coaches are trained and matched to the youth at risk before they start to work together. This is very specialized work, because we look for the right click between the youngsters and their coaches. The voluntary coaches are supported with regular meetings where they can exchange questions and doubts, and where they can draw from a collective knowledge base, expertise , ideas and contacts.

Together they make up a learning network of which the youngsters become a part.

The youngsters are positively stimulated by working towards and investigating into their future. This is clear from the experiences presented by the coaches, but also from the low drop-out rate of 90% of all young participants.

In 2017, 20 youngsters have taken part in a programme. 28 Potential coaches have applied and 14 of them were actually found suitable and were trained. During 2018, 60 % of the youngsters are still actively committed to the  programme. These youths and their coaches have been working for over a year on their dreams through the programme. In the meantime, 30 youngsters have followed parts of &dreamsmatter and 14 youngsters are active in a programme of &dreamsmatter.

This year too, potential new coaches have applied and out of 16 interested inhabitants of the city of the Hague, 7 have been found suitable and have already been trained.

Stadslink

&DreamsMatter is a project by Stadslink. Stadslink is founded by Karen Bos. Karen started working in the field of Social Issues, specializing in neighborhood-oriented work and social change processes in the city & neighborhood. In practice as well as in management positions she contributed to structural improvements in neighborhoods & districts.

With a focus on themes such as active citizenship, community building, but also issues related to poverty and youth at risk. In 2015 she started a new Dutch foundation called Stadslink ( citylink), with the focus on community development and making people believe in themselves and their own learning ability. With her own team of talented young professionals and volunteers, she is motivated to making people feel at home in the city.

By realizing a  involved society of citizens who are committed to each other and to their city. Stadslink wants to link talents and dreams to possibilities. Possibilities arising from community based support. Stadslink is located in The Hague .At this moments Stadslink has a beautiful partnership with Learning Dreams, Minneapolis, USA (www.learningdreams.org) . Together they share their knowledge and build communities that are rooted in new, innovative opportunities that enable people to pursue their dreams.