Here is a video clip from John Piermont Montilla that he recorded in Chiang Mai in February this years. Jean Pierre works with street children in the Philippines and he believes in the Power of Dreams.
Video clip

For those who have trouble playing the clip, here is a transcript of what Jean Pierre says:

"I am Jean Pierre, Jean Piermont Montilla from the ‘Kabataang Gabay SA Posittigong Pamumuhay’ or in English ‘Peers for a positive way of life’. So I am from the Philippines and our organisation is working with children in difficult circumstances, those in child labour, exploitation, prostitution in the southern Philippines.
We believe in the power of dreams. Many times we work with street children and there is something we need that we don’t know how to change the behaviour of children. And later on we appreciated that by starting on their dreams, to build their dreams or to rebuild their lost dreams, it helps them to have a direction in their lives or to move on. To move on to whatever programmes or projects that are designed for them.
So what happened in our organisation is very successful. Now the children after dreaming, each has their own dreams and they share that dream with their group and they share with each other. And later on, it makes them feel a sense of community with one vision and one goal. And during those discussions we did not talk about the risks yet. But later on at the follow-up meetings, the follow-up Salt visits, they started to talk about their risks on HIV.
So because they started to do that, we started to facilitate the Self Assessment of risks which we developed for them to assess their risks and then make a benchmark on how to change their behaviour later on. So now they are not ashamed to tell us about their behaviours they have. And they are proud to say, “I want to change this behaviour.” And they don’t only share it with their peers, but also with the community leaders. So now with the community leaders, that creates a demand. Now the community leaders feel compelled to find ways or programmes or to allocate a budget for the activities of street children in their community to change their behaviour.
Previously people did not trust children, street children or those who are engaging in high risk behaviours. Now the adults that see them are believing in them. And we believe that once they dream, we must believe in them, we must believe in their dreams. Because if we do believe, then that inspires them that, “Even though I am like this, there are still people who believe in me.”
And now our children are transitioned to formal schooling. Some of them are vocational. And some who cannot go to school because they are too low literate, but still we have transitioned them to non-exploitative income generating opportunities and they themselves explore those opportunities and we just facilitate how they can access, how we can reach them. And that is a very successful initiative that we have.
And it is not just that they are AIDS Competent, but they are now Life Competent!"

I am interested in collecting other stories that we can use to show the power of a dream to change our behaviour. If you could share them in this discussion that would be excellent.


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