My Dream in a Shoebox brings the dreamers back on its tenth year
Dreams are powerful stuff. They are the rocket fuel that launches our vision of what could be beyond the boundaries of what things are. Even the smallest of dreams could make the world better, not just for ourselves, but for many people as well. Dreams are contagious and if we dream big enough, other people could catch it too and we’d be able to change the world.
Unfortunately, because of poverty, many Filipino children’s dreams have been reduced to finding ways to rise above their impoverished situation, or at least bring food to the table for their daily needs, which sacrifices their basic right to go to school. There are 39.2 million Filipinos aged 6 to 24 years old who do not have access to quality education. Despite significant progress in recent years, many Filipino children are still deprived of this basic universal right that they should be enjoying.
To children who experience extreme deprivation of basically everything, this results in one thing: the poverty of ambition. With the goal of only surviving one day at a time, kids often forget to even dream and to know what it feels like to have that beautiful vision of their future.
This is why My Dream in a Shoebox was born.
My Dream in a Shoebox (MDIAS) is a homegrown corporate social responsibility project of TeamAsia, an integrated marketing communications agency. It began with a desire to help the children of Kariton Klasrum, Efren Penaflorida’s initiative with the street children of Cavite City. Instead of a big Christmas Party, TeamAsia, together with the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) and other partner organizations, family and industry friends assembled more than 200 shoeboxes filled with school supplies as gifts for the children to encourage them to dream big.
Now on its tenth year, MDIAS has grown from holiday volunteerism efforts to a yearlong initiative which engages many partners to grow its goals. Through the years, individuals, corporations, and foundations such as the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation Philippines and Payatas Orione Foundation have shared in MDIAS’ vision of empowering children to dream big and to play a more tangible role in helping them move closer to their dreams. Education-oriented organizations like Museo Pambata and Magis Creative Spaces have even partnered with MDIAS to engage the children in activities to further stretch their dreaming muscles.
To celebrate ten years and to cast its own dreams further, MDIAS aimed to invest in children’s dreams by providing financial assistance to 100 students across the country. It turns out, that the already-big dream could grow into an even bigger reality.
Through the help of its generous long-time and new partners and donors, MDIAS has collected 72,634 shoeboxes and has exceeded its target goal of P300,000 for its educational assistance program. This means that 20 more children will have the assurance that their educational needs will be augmented financially and that their dreams will be one step closer to reality.
“We are very happy to have gone beyond our goals. This means we can help more children and more families with their educational needs. We are even more dedicated to the mission,” Bea Lim, TeamAsia’s managing director said.
She continued, “We set out a vision to help underprivileged children ten years ago, and there is nothing that can stop us from continuing to bring the dreamers back. These children are our why, and we will never stop helping, as long as we can.”
Hangga’t may batang nangangarap, mayroong My Dream in a Shoebox.