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Dream-A-World celebrates programme success!

Published:Friday | July 31, 2015 | 5:06 PM
Professor Fred Hickling

Dream-A-World cultural therapy programme, a project of the University of the West Indies' Caribbean Institute of Mental Health and Substance Abuse (CARIMENSA), will celebrate the transformative success of 100 Jamaican youths from inner-city communities today in a cultural programme at the Courtleigh Hotel.

Dream-A-World is a multi-dimensional intervention which sought to address the problems of children who, at the beginning of the process, were deemed to have academic and behavioural dysfunction. The programme challenged them to create a new world for themselves through the use of psychological techniques, creative arts and remedial math and English classes.

The intervention also seeks to improve the social skills and academic performance of the 100 at-risk children, ages eight to nine years old, from four inner-city communities in Kingston.

"Over the past two years, we have seen phenomenal improvement in the children's academic performance, attitudes and behaviour," said Professor Frederick Hickling, director of CARIMENSA.

The programme has been running from 2013 to present, and has been supported by Grand Challenges Canada. The 100 children saw improved performance in literacy by more than 20 per cent and registered significant improvement in attention and cognitive problem-solving skills.

On Emancipation Day, the children will present a full showcase, of their designs, to their families and several notable members of the public who have been invited to learn about the work of the programme and to encourage the children's development.


According to Hickling, "This performance is such a significant activity for the children. They all display such enthusiasm in their performances at school and, perhaps might never have had the opportunity to perform in a space like the Courtleigh Auditorium. They are so excited! We look forward to see the worlds each school has developed and the messages they have to share with the nation though their performances."

The programme, called 'Render Me Visible' will feature the children performing across several genres and is designed to encourage a cadre of enthusiastic young people who are making sterling efforts towards the positive improvement of their lives.