Frequently Asked Questions

What is your concept?

Kids Have A Dream is a global exhibition project visualizing childrens’ dreams. More than 3,000 youth aged 10-15 have participated in countries such as Japan, Kenya, Iraq, Cuba, Mongolia, India, Palestine and Vietnam.

The youth take part in a Dream Workshop, hosted in their village or city by a local person they trust. Here they are encouraged to visualize their personal dream for the future through the medium of a drawing or painting. During the Dream Workshop each youth is to draw or paint about his/her dream, to end the legendary sentence “I have a dream…” There should be no writing in the picture, since this makes it difficult to understand in other countries.

The “Kids Have A Dream” exhibition is a collection of selected dream drawings. The exhibition travels through some of the participating countries, where it is presented to students, the wider public, politicians and the media, for educational and fundraising purposes.

What is your objective?

“Kids Have a Dream” believes that a child can inspire an entire community to change – and we empower them do it!

By empowering local change around the world, we nurture a culture of co-pendency and personal responsibility. Our mission is to make youth reflect upon their own dreams and spark their curiosity of people who are different from them.

We wish to create a dialogue across borders to increase our solidarity. We believe that everybody has dreams, regardless of their age, gender, nationality, religion and social status, and that we are dependent on one another to make our dreams come true.

What method do you use?

The project is designed in a way, which makes it easy and to replicate, localize and implement in any community, because it draws on resources which are already present at local level. Through art-therapy and pro-active coaching workshops we inspire and empower global youth to make a difference at local level.

We believe that positive change starts from within, and that one has to start with the individual to change the world. We also believe that one single child can inspire an entire community.

We use the Discover-Dream-Design-Destiny (4-D) Model as the theoretical foundation for our workshops. The 4-D model originates from Appreciative Inquiry, which is a larger framework for human and organizational change, using positive psychology as its foundation. The 4-D model strives to develop each participant’s individual mental model to create an internal paradigm shift, which will have a positive effect on the human interaction as well. The core of the 4-D model, can be captured in the idea that ”We create the world as we describe it”.

How did it start?

nkosiLike most good things in life, “Kids Have A Dream” started with a great vision. In this case it was the specific vision of the courageous Nkosi Johnson, South Africa’s longest surviving child born HIV positive. Nkosi was separated from his mother at an early age because they were both HIV positive. Fortune had it that the social activist, Gail Johnson, adopted him when he was left at shelter for HIV positive men. Nkosi´s big dream, before he passed away in 2001, was to create homes where HIV positive mothers could stay together with their children, and live longer with the love and care that they needed.

Anne Kjær Riechert, the “Kids Have A Dream” founder, was fortunate to volunteer Nkosi´s Haven for three months in 2006. Here she experienced the significant difference that Nkosi´s dream had made for the 60 mothers and children living at the centre at the time. Nkosi´s courage and vision made Anne question how she could assist young people to follow Nkosi´s example and become community leaders.

The first imagination workshop was held at Nkosi´s Haven (South Africa) in Easter 2006, and was follow by the second workshop in Nesbyen (Norway) a few weeks later. The first exhibition was opened in June 2006 at Hallingdal Museum (Norway). Since then, the project has gained significant momentum and keeps growing. More workshops and exhibitions get added thanks to the kind help of volunteers and great dreamers around the world.

What is your dream?

We wish to have thousands of participants from countries all around the world, and assist them in making their own dreams come true. We wish to make children’s dreams heard, not just because they could be the voices of tomorrow’s leaders, but because we believe that children’s voices and dreams can change the world we live in today!

We also dream about creating an outdoor exhibition that can travel all around the world to raise money and help create awareness about children’s’ rights. The first stop of the Dream Tour should be either Ground Zero in New York or the former Berlin Wall. Wouldn´t that be exciting?

What happens to the pictures?

After each workshop has been completed the drawings are sent back to the Kids Have a Dream founder, who labels and stores the drawings for safe keeping. At the next exhibition approx. 10 drawings from each workshop will be exhibited together with drawings from the rest of the world.

Who makes it happen?

In order for the workshops and exhibitions to happen, we rely on help from good-hearted people around the globe. We are always looking for people and organizations to host and facilitate local Dream Workshops or exhibitions.The project is carried out at local level by local partner organizations such as youth groups, schools and humanitarian organizations. The local partners are assisted in the planning and evaluation by the Kids Have A Dream staff. All partners are volunteers.

Who can participate?

We believe that everybody has dreams, regardless of their age, gender, nationality, religion and social status, and that we are dependent on one another to make our dreams come true. More than 3000 young people from 23 countries have participated so far (*Oct. 2013)

The participants in the workshop are 10-15 year-olds. The number participating in a workshop is optional, but we suggest 10 children per coach, because it is important that each person has a proper dialogue about their artwork and dream with an adult whom they trust. By targeting youth, we affect an entire community from within, because youth share their ideas with their siblings, their parents and grand parents.

We believe that positive change comes from raised self-awareness, that local action comes from a supportive community and that global understanding is born out of curiosity. The children we have worked with know few boundaries in their imagination and their ability to dream is a potential source of innovation that moves all of us forward.

Who is the founder?

Anne portraetThe project was started in 2006 by Anne Kjær Riechert. Not many teenagers dream about becoming a foreign correspondent when they grow up. Anne is the exception. However, as she grew older and started traveling the world, her interest in entrepreneurship, social innovation and participatory development took over.

Anne graduated from the esteemed Kaospilot leadership education program in 2006, and spent three years working as corporate social responsibility consultant and creative lead for STOIC, a brand strategy agency in Copenhagen. In 2010 she was awarded the Rotary World Peace Fellowship, the first Dane to receive this honor. Anne now lives in Berlin.