Children are still able to dream about their future. The world lies unexplored ahead of them. Yet, at the same time children seem to get caught up in the possibilities they are offered. Many of them don’t dare to dream anymore and believe that their future is already set.
Working with adults on a therapeutic level for years, Martijn van Oorschot encountered how difficult it is to re-enlighten the passion inside and really start contributing to the world around you. He decided to start working with people earlier on in life, when their views would be less fixed. This led him to work with students on high schools in The Netherlands and Brazil. The goal was to get them to find their own dream based on what they would really like to do in their life.
Martijn says about this:
“We are living towards the future. The past is gone and irrevocable. We do carry that past with us in memories and experiences, but anyway it is gone.
What is in the future can’t be predicted and neither can we predict where we end up as a human being. Many things in life are fixed: where our crib was, how our first years of life were, how our parents approached us. These are facts of life which determine a great deal of the way our life goes.
At the same time it is not like we aren’t capable of influencing our life all together. There does exist something like a Geist: an inner force which drives people to be more than they are, to rise above themselves. To do everything possible to accomplish the one thing they want. We all like stories where people achieve something, we even honor them like heroes. And that isn’t just about material possessions; on the contrary, a complete focus on material welfare may be the ultimate dead of all Geist. Much more importance holds the discovery of our being, our individual talents and to start to contribute to the world with them. This is profoundly different from using the world as it is purely for our own pleasure.
It helps when we have a dream. Something we would really want to realize. And when we have an environment which supports our dream, many things can happen. This is something that actually is a possibility for all of us. It is in no way important whether this dream will be realized or not, it is the movement that comes from it that counts in life.”
After working on this with 100 children in two countries for over a year, we developed a clear image of how this process works and what else is needed to enable children to influence their environment. We started the Doing Dreams foundation as a means to spread our work throughout the world.
In the hierarchy of the education system the people who have the biggest influence, have the least to do with the students. This brings us to the question of how the connection between the students, the teachers and the directors can be preserved and reinforced.
Our dream is to set up our education system in such a way that the most underprivileged students stay motivated, take up the challenge, are proud of their achievements, exploit their talents confidently and believe in their dream for the future.
So we are working with openness and passion for working with children to help them influence their own life and environment: they learn how to dream, create an inspiring learning environment, and connect with the world.