My Dream Now is a Swedish social enterprise that motivates students in Kenya together with large international companies. Read about how this great organization has created a unique program for students from low-income areas to understand their work opportunities, and how to get there.
My Dream Now’s vision is that all young people should feel their value in society and find their own ways to work and dreams. Volunteers from different employers visit schools in teams of four, who have a session with 20 students four times a year. In partnership with DHL, the first session in class was held on October 9th at Cheleta Primary School in Nairobi, Kenya.
The purpose of this first session was to inspire students to visualize their dreams and motivate them to strive towards their goals. The students created their own dream collage with pictures that represented their vision and hope for the future.
"It was great to see students start dreaming with the help of images they cut out of newspapers and put on their collage. When they also meet volunteers from different companies, they had very valuable conversations. An adult with inspirational work, who sees their dreams, believes in them and makes them understand what is possible makes a big difference to many students," says Peter Maina and Christopher Njoroge, responsible for My Dream Now Nairobi.
My Dream Now was founded in 2011 in Husby, Stockholm, with operations in Gothenburg, Malmö and Helsingborg, Sweden, and now in October, also in Nairobi. Founder Jonas Bygdeson trained volunteer class coaches from local companies such as APA Insurance and the first national partner Kenya, DHL Global Forwarding. On the first-class coach meetup, nine volunteers from different employers met over 60 students in three groups from grade 5 at Cheleta Primary School.
"At DHL Global Forwarding, we see that social sustainability is becoming increasingly important to us as a company. My Dream Now has a good model, which makes it easy to engage employees”, says Amadou Diallo, President of the Middle East and Africa, based in Dubai.
“My colleagues really felt that they made a difference for the students. It gives us a lot of energy back to inspire the students who are most difficult to see their opportunities here in Nairobi," said Agnaldo Laice, Head of DHL Global Forwarding.
The method used in both Sweden and Kenya is that volunteers, so-called class coaches from the private sector and academia inspire young students to see their opportunities and understand how to get different jobs.
My Dream Now offers a specific program for inspirational collaboration between schools and employers with different jobs. Employers wishing to take active social responsibility are paying partners and offer their employees the opportunity to engage. A team of three to five volunteers from different companies meets a class four times a year during school hours. My Dream Now organizes study visits to different employers twice a year. The Class Coach Program will give students motivation to achieve their goals in school as well as to help to reduce the gap between schoolwork when they understand ways to get to different professions.
"Young people growing up in low-income areas do not always see their potential. The parents are having a hard time to give their youth inspiration to working life when they themselves have trouble getting a job. It is similar challenges both in Sweden and Kenya, although living standards and many other things are differing”, says Jonas Bygdeson, founder of My Dream Now.
Cooperation with more partner companies in Kenya is now developing and the business is scaling up for more schools in 2019.
The vision is that all students should feel their value in society and find their own ways to work and dreams. My Dream Now offers a concrete program for inspirational collaboration school work life. Volunteers from work and college inspire students to see their opportunities in working life. A team of volunteers meets students in school and students may visit workplaces. Employers wishing to take active social responsibility are paying partners and offer their employees opportunities to engage. In Sweden, My Dream Now prioritizes areas with high potential such as Tensta, Biskopsgården and Rosengård - where many young people lack role models in working life.
My Dream Now currently has thirty-one partners including Scandic, Tieto, Fujitsu, Criminal Care, Skanska, Nordea, MTR, Canon, and more. During the academic year 2017-18, My Dream Now met a total of 1913 students, 260 volunteer class coaches committed themselves and 229 class coach meetups and 124 workplaces took students to visit.
Read more: http://www.mydreamnow.se/