The Dream Dynasty – Centenary Secondary School

The Dream Dynasty – Focusing on the Dream in Education
Aims of the Dream Dynasty

  1. To build highly-prepared, well-supported, values-based and mentored dream-focused school leavers – who know what they want from life and know how to get it.
  2. To create a safe and empowering learning environment in which learners, educators, support team and parents can grow and develop.
    Dream Dynasty
    Centenary Secondary School

The Dream Dynasty commences on the 26th/ 27th at Centenary Secondary School, Overport, Durban, KZN, South Africa. Funding and support is urgently required to ensure the ongoing effectiveness of this project.Request a funding proposal email.

Centenary Secondary School is an inner city school serving generally low-income areas. The teachers and learners come from historically disadvantaged histories and/ or families. The challenges facing them are listed in our Dream Dynasty Document. The potential is highlighted by Avenesh Moodley who last year – against all the odds – achieved 5 distinctions in matric. (http://www.looklocal.co.za/looklocal/content/en/overport/overport-lifestyle?oid=4994733&sn=Detail&pid=1171421&Matric-pupils-excels-against-the-odds)

There are 1124 learners and 55 staff who will be positively impacted through the programme. This will reach into the community and the lives of parents, caregivers, siblings and other relatives. We ultimately expect to impact close to 10 000 people in the area. The chances are that without any intervention – most pupils leaving this school will be unemployed, under-employed or find employment in low level labourer positions.

The initial focus is to unite the educator body and their support team – through a team unity programme. They will also go through a similar dream-focused  programme. We will then help them to source a provider and funding, put in place an easily workable strategic plan.  The plan is to then support them over the ensuing year – finishing with a follow up team building in 2013.

Community and parent meetings will be held in the first year to bring the community, local business, corporate and government up to date on the process and involve all role-players.

Our only sponsor at present is Celebrating Humanity International, a small and highly effective diversity training, team building and team conflict resolution company.  They are contributing over R200 000, in terms of people power, expertise and their time – their main role will be to train, team build, project manage and catalyse the process.

We are rolling out the programme in different stages, the next of which focuses on the pupils, parents and volunteers, where we build motivation and the concept of the dream, their dreams and find people to build and skill them up in the dream areas in which interest is shown. This will include dream circles, values and principles, business skills, social skills, understanding and working with diversity. 1st stage Budgets, and more detail on the Dream Dynasty are included below:-

Our appeal is for funding and donations for school and class-room resources, speakers travel and accommodation, printing, websites, social media marketing, business plans, teacher exchange programmes, night school for parents and the community amongst other things. We are also inviting funders and volunteers to work in the various areas of the project. The potential to learn and grow are tremendous as is the ability to make a long-term difference in the lives of the pupils, teachers and people in the area. We foresee the programme being facilitated province and countrywide.

Funders are urged to look into their corporate social budgets and see where and how they can assist us in transforming the lives of these youngsters, teachers and their communities.

This pilot programme – will develop a way forward for education in South Africa, Africa and possibly the World.

Challenges for learners, without dreams.
  1. School is often something learners just have to do.
  2. Average or below average performance.
  3. They are focused on a “pass.” Anything above a failure will do just fine!
  4. They have low morale; little enthusiasm and commitment.
  5. Absenteeism, disrespect, bad attitudes are the norm.
  6. There is excessive bullying/ vandalism.
  7. Bored learners become fun seekers – often leading to chemical abuse, vandalism and mischief.Resultant challenges for these school leavers.
  1. They have no focus or direction.
  2. They will study anything that comes up. Whatever will keep their parents from complaining.
  3. Have no idea of what they want when job seeking, “Give me a job – any job.”
  4. Find themselves in dead-end jobs. (Something they just have to do, for money.)
  5. They become bored, demoralised and quarrelsome.
  6. The natural joy of life, power and creativity, that many of these young people have – becomes crushed.
10 steps towards creating a Dynasty of Dreamers and success stories
  1. Get buy-in at all levels, starting with the Principal, teachers, the relevant Education authorities and roleplayers. Create the structure.
  2. Re-focus all role-players on the Dream.
  3. Involve Educators and support team.
  4. Involve Learners and Parents.
  5. Create a safe, professional, respectful, caring and nurturing learning environment.
  6. Build skills, values, trust and self esteem of role players.
  7. Build their dreams supported by Dream Circles, sponsors, and voluntary mentors.
  8. Maintain the Dream focus.
  9. Monitor, assess, guide and motivate.
  10. Bring back successful dreamers to share with the new dreamers.

Focusing on the Dream
When we focus on the dreams we focus, an amazing and positive energy of everyone, on the futures of learners (Dreams Weavers), parents (Dream Guardians), teachers (Dream Keepers), support staff and the Principal (Dean of Dreams.)

Our principle focus is on the learners, yet as we go along suddenly people who had fallen into day-to-day survival or success – realize that they too have opportunities and they too have dreams and desires.

Dedicated Dream Circles.

Dream Dynasty Dream Circles

Dream Dynasty – Building the future of our youth.

Through the Dream Circles they interact with people with common ideas and purpose, they are mentored by teachers, selected parents, local business people, sports people, community members and government officials. They form shared study groups focusing on their mutual dreams, discoveries and ideas. Past learners, successful business people, sports people and public figures are invited to share their start and how they attained success.

A safe, nurturing environment

In order to succeed, the dreamers need a nurturing environment which:- removes bullying and stress; shows possibility, builds confidence and self esteem; build generations of happy, professional and successful people who live their dreams and values.

     Dream Dynasty Values Circle

The Dream Dynasty Values Circle is a peer created and peer managed values structure which allows all role-players to build the environment required. This is the protection system for the learners and educators alike.

Equipping the role-players with skills.

It is of utmost importance to equip learners and teachers, with new and relevant skills – thereby enhancing their long-term ability to learn and share. Thus creating a strong ability to dream and envision great possibilities and focuses.

The sooner learners have control over their future, through understanding, skills, ability and their own behaviour management agreement – the sooner they see their own value and become self motivated.

Thus teaching them easy-to-learn relationship, learning skills, negotiation skills the better for them, in the pursuit of their dreams. The motivation of their teachers and their parents and the future of our nation depend upon us creating a Dream Dynasty.

Together we can do it.

Contact: Ms Bhanu Haripersad
PR Executive.
+27 722 4600 86

E-mail: brian@africa-dreams.com.

Arthie and Brian Moore CH Trust – Copyright South Africa.

Parking for the physically disabled – or the socially disabled?

Parking spaces allocated for handicapped people are not created for the use of the physically-abled or the socially-disabled!.

Some people in our rushed and selfish society, somehow believe that they have the right to park in the very few spots reserved for the disabled. This horrendous lack of care leaves people with serious disabilities struggling in tiny parking spaces, to get into wheel chairs or up on to crutches – whilst the lazy, fit and selfish take one of the few advantages from them – a broad and nearby parking.

Parking for handicapped image

This signs means that only disabled people may park here.

Thinking people believe that this borders on a pre-meditated criminal activity. We certainly cannot wrap our heads around this stupid and uncaring behaviour.

These patently heart and brain-free idiots, roll out the excuses:-

* “I was only a few minutes.” Hogwash, if you block a parking – it is not accessible by those who need it.
* “I will be quick.” No you won’t. What kind of a lie is that?
“The other parking spots are so far away.” – Exactly! That is why you need to take your able-bodied legs and walk, so that the disabled can get out of their darn cars!
* “I didn’t see the handicapped markings or signs. Sorry.” Stupidity is not a handicap, nor is unawareness. Neither are any excuses! Start using your adequate sight and brains!

Those who do not give people, who are less able, a chance in life, deserve to have their vehicles confiscated. They are simply not socially or mentally competent to operate it!

What is our South African legacy? Lessons from Michelangelo’s Pieta

I am in absolute awe of the work done by Michelangelo – a phenomenal sculptor and artist in the 15th and 16th centuries. 500 years later his work still stands for us to see.

It makes me think – about my legacy – what will that be. And then about our legacy in South Africa, what will that be?

Read on below the picture – because I know we can do better than we are now…

Michelangelo's PietaMichelangelo’s_Pieta_5450_cropncleaned.jpg (JPEG Image, 1584 × 1660 pixels) – Scaled (35%).

Leaving a loving legacy

We live together in a land which is marked by history, to be a shining example for our children and the rest of the world. It may also be a land which will show just how easily people choose the wrong paths in life. This is up to us.

We have a huge opportunity to make a difference now. We have a choice. We can stumble in the deep ruts of the past, or to step onto a bright, new road. A path less travelled. A chosen path.

So many people been damaged by the history of our country. So many are being hurt right now. We have all been classified and have classified others. We have caused hurt and been hurt. We have wronged and been wronged.

Just listen to conversations of your friends and associates. Read the press. Watch the news. Feel the spirit of the people. There has been great change, and yet little has changed

Will our children be born into” Apartheid styled groups” which deny themselves opportunity by virtue of their supposed differences. Denied by the virtue of their genes or parental choices? Yes they will, if we choose to continuously classify people by race, wealth, colour, religion, language or nationality. (This year my 11 year old son came home from school with a document declaring that he is a coloured. Kids in his class call him “umlungu” (white person). He was born a full 7 years after the 1st democratic elections in our country.)

Too many of our new “leaders”, have found that their old apartheid jackets are far too comfortable. Our new rainbow coloured “clothes” need our individual adjustment. We will all have to lose the weight of the past, in order for them to fit. Only then will we feel different, see differently and behave differently.

Yes, the past is not our potential and the future starts with you and I. Today.

We can face our fears or live in them. We can talk of others and their racism, or take action to be free of racism. We can stop generalising. We can complain about crime or work for honesty, safety and integrity. We can be shocked by AIDS, or find ways to improve health and morality. We can complain of corruption, or act to clean up our country. We can demand respect, or give it. We can blame others, or take responsibility.

We can call for apologies for ancestral actions or act now to ensure that our descendants never need apologise for what we have done.

True freedom has always been in our hands, our hearts and our souls. It has always lived alongside the opposite options. You and I can be free, no matter what the circumstances. Our freedom ensures the freedom of others and it comes from looking within.

We can share in the beautiful diversities of our land. We can experience many answers to all challenges. We can join together as humans in this world. We can love and learn together.

You and I  are all living actors in the unfolding legend of South Africa and the world awaits our lessons. You and I  have an opportunity to leave a living, loving legacy for ourselves and for those to come.

Hear the call. Now is our time.

Diversity is a good thing – not something to be feared!

A story on the power that leaders, team members and their organisations gain, when they understand the true value of diversity in teams.

And we are ALL leaders!

Arthie and I had just kicked off the Celebrating Humanity programme, in 2001 – which covered Diversity training, Team conflict resolution and Transformational team building. We had been struggling with our basic team building aspects of diversity training. We simply had to move away from the chalk-and-talk, death-by-powerpoint methods of training.

A decision was taken to run our training, as a celebration of who we and our delegates were, and focused into team competitions – as a way to change the spirit of the people and the training environment.

But we were still struggling with the make-up of the teams. So many of our delegates, in the early days, were literally forced into the room. A great number were former combatants or had been isolated by propaganda – each one choosing to be “with their own people.” This limited the interaction and caused inter-team conflict.

As we worked at developing the team building methodologies – we had many realisations. A huge principal grew for us:- “In order to be true leaders, we have to accept that other people add to us.”

And we needed to ensure that our delegates experienced the fact that their unique skills, knowledge and wisdom must be shared and nurtured in order for them to be integral parts of of powerful and professional teams. In Zulu it is said “Inkosi yinkosi ngabantu” – a leader is only a leader by virtue of her/ or his people – the meaning was becoming clearer by the minute. People in their diversities make us who we are.

I have always understood that my sons and my wife bring unbelievable value and add to me. Now I knew that people who disagree with me, also add to me. People who are different, or who have different views and opinions, bring great value to me.

And perhaps they add to me far more than those who always concur with me. And 19th Century Poet Laureate, Lord Alfred Tennyson knew it, when he said, “I am a part of all that I have met.”

As our thoughts expanded, we realized that we also add to other people. That we too have value.

If only I had learned this as a child, as a teenager, or even 10 years ago. It would have stopped my “rightness” and my need to defend my opinions. I would no longer have had to “win arguments.” And as a consequence lose my friends and break relationships.

It was so simple. All people in their varied histories, religions, education, cultures, skills, experiences, pains and joys make us more human. And can, if we are open to their uniqueness, help us to build our lives, families, teams and organisations.

So diversity is a good thing. Not something to be feared but something to be sought out. Not something to be judged but something to learn from. Not something to be contradicted but something to be built upon!

We then realized that the more inclusive and diverse our teams are, the more we win! And, conversely, the more we follow the old proverb of “birds of a feather flock together”, the more we separate and stagnate. And the more we confirm our stereotypes and prejudices.

The birth of Celebrating Humanity Diversity Training Methodologies-

During our Celebrating Humanity©, our international transformational team-building and diversity sensitivity training programme, we needed to find a way to get people into diverse teams, without marginalising them.

Obviously to send people to their teams, as we perceived their skills, talents, genders and cultures to be, was manipulative. When people come to the programme they are often angry, in pain and very divided. And we have been told, on numerous occasions… “Mention race, or racism, just once and we will leave the room, and never come back.”

In our first 2 sessions, we tried placing the delegates’ manuals at the various tables, and asked the delegates to sit wherever they found their manuals.

We would guess by their names and surnames, where they “should” be. It was a time-wasting exercise and one that only partly had the effect that we wanted. People still felt as if they had been pre-judged. And it was true.

Once we had defined the teams, in this way, we would then get each person to introduce another, on a human level. Many of them knew little or nothing about their fellow team members. This was a good part of the exercise and there was good benefit. But the pre-selected teams did not truly gel.

Arthie and I took a step back and looked at the opening of the programme and we realized that the delegates had to select their own teams.

We know that people normally choose the people they are most like, or with whom they are most comfortable. If this were to be the case, they would not fully experience each other as human beings. Nor would they understand the value of diversity and the value of “different” people.

We then developed the team selection principle of “who adds to me.” In order for this to work, we honed the interview questions to be more in line with the programme outcomes, the competitions and the team points system.

Before the introductions, we advised the teams that they would be selecting their teams based upon competitions and we told them of the bases of the competitions.

In South Africa, this included eating habits of various groups, proverbs, cultural knowledge, language, traditions, religion, drawing skills, dance skills and hula-hooping skills. We also advise teams to get their gender split right, as there is much wisdom to be found in all people.

Internationally, we work with the artistic/ dance, hula-hoop, talents, experiences, local knowledge and the qualifications of the teams. For example, with the Bank of Zambia, one aspect of the team competitions, drew upon individuals’ knowledge of international financial markets.

In South Africa, once conflicted groups selected teams that went across, level, position,  ability, culture, age, gender, race, language and religion. And the team knowledge was incredible – thus their opportunities to learn were equally massive!

In Zambia the selections went across level, position, gender, age and experience.

Some feedback

Senior management delegates at Lake Kariba, said:- “Very well received, a unique delivery technique.”, ” Delivery standard – World Class.”, “The course has broken interpersonal barriers.”

One of our Ethekwini Municipality (Durban and surrounds) delegates had this to say… “Change goes deeper than a cross on an election ballot, or learning a “black” language, or being able to live wherever you choose, or even affirmative action… From President to petty thief, and city manager to general worker, we are all unique and yet all the same. We are all humankind – the South African way.”

Another delegate closes off his feedback, on his personal transformation, with… “We have a country rich in people who are unique in their variety. Our uniqueness is special. If we open our hearts to it we will all grow and become more special. Let us all embrace the uniqueness and utilize it to shine brighter for us all.”

Our change in Celebrating Humanity© team selection methodologies had multiple effects. Here are four…

Firstly, delegates now listen very carefully to the introductions. They begin to know each other better, from the earliest possible moment. A delegate from SA Container Depots… “Now I know my team members. For past 10 years I have walked right past them without greeting. Now I have friends who I know. I will greet them all in the future.”

Secondly, they chose their own team members, in a totally new and aware way. Because they add to each other, they almost always get the diversity right. When they do not, it shows up in their team’s lack of points. Delegate Luanne Schmidt, says.. “The experience has left me with a sense of joy that if each one of us in our wonderful “Rainbow nation” takes the time to really get to know and understand the traditions and cultures that make this such an exciting country to live in, we truly will become a nation to be envied.”

Thirdly, they began to experience the power of sharing wisdom and working together in diverse teams. This is extending outside of the training room. Another Ethekwini delegate had this to say… “I have accommodated all these people and other cultures in my heart, in a similar way. All of them are so important in my life. There is a lot that I can learn from them about my personality, their personalities as well as my country.”

And point number four, they begin to understand their own multi-faceted value and their marvellous uniquenesses! A once fearful, and now newly-trained, Celebrating Humanity facilitator in the Ethekwini Municipality Diversity Training programme… “Truly we are catalysts of change. We have the power, the ability, the training, the desire and the courage!”

They had taken the first step towards realizing that diversity and uniqueness in team members creates greater opportunities for learning, growth and success.

They also took the first steps towards becoming the leaders of tomorrow. Leading with each other, for each other – together.

And through them, we begin to lead and leave our legacy for the future!

Brian V Moore© 13/4/2005
“At the level of respect all people are equal”

There are many such simple yet innovating aspects to the numerous Celebrating Humanity© programmes. “The Celebrating Humanity© programme is not simply a “programme”, it is not just a “course”. It is a “cause.” – Celebrating Humanity Facilitator – Ethekwini Municipality.

And now something valuable at no cost to you!

Articles and Stories, PLUS information on the Celebrating Humanity© programmes, can be found on:- http://www.africa-dreams.com/

“Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead.

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