Why I Started Dreaming For Kids

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With so many charities to support and great causes to get behind, so many amazing organizations providing education to children around the world, why did I choose to create Dreaming For Kids? That’s easy: these kids.

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As a Canadian, I had the good fortune to never be denied education. In fact, I’m currently completing my MBA, thanks to financial support from the government and a bank and emotional support from friends and family, and it’s providing me with the skillset to challenge and change society for the better. I want to pass that opportunity onto others.

While teaching abroad for two years in South Korea, I realized the importance of education beyond my own backyard. Then, after spending six weeks at Good Hope Orphanage in Tanzania to help educate over 200 elementary-school students who didn’t even have the seventh-grade classroom they needed to graduate primary school, I knew more needed to be done.

I thought, why not risk the investment of time, energy, and money when the reward – sending bright and motivated kids to school – is so great. Seeing Amiri and Swaif’s faces when we told them they were going to attend Edmond Rice Secondary School, and then the pride they showed when posing in their new school uniforms, made all of this hard work feel effortless.

My advice to people who want to take action and show their passion? Just do it. Find time, make time, and you’ll be amazed by the opportunities it creates and the sense of reward you get from it. Not to mention the difference you can make for others.

Dreaming For Kids has become my family and there is no greater gift than that. When people tell me how lucky these kids are, I truly think it’s the whole DFK community that’s luckier.

School’s Out for the Summer!

Amiri and Swaif are happy to be back visiting Good Hope Orphanage for summer vacation (one month). I was lucky enough to catch them briefly on skype and they were very pleased with their first semester. They both said that they are learning a lot and making lots of new friends!

They both look very happy and have grown so much since I was last there!!

Edmund Rice emailed to say that their report cards came out June 12th! We are patiently waiting for a copy, but for those who have been to Tanzania know, Tanzanian time is “pole, pole” (meaning slow).

We cannot wait to share Amiri and Swaif’s progress with all of you. We would again like to thank everyone for their support! They will resume class on July 8th and they will take the same subjects: English, Swahili, and math.

 

Education is the Key to Achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals

In 2000, 147 Heads of State and Government met in New York City and pledged to cut extreme poverty across the globe in HALF by the year 2015. They agreed to 8 Millennium Development Goals (MGDs) which serve as the blueprint to improve the human condition and those who are born into poverty.  Here is a breakdown of the 8 MGDs

  1. To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  2. To achieve universal primary education
  3. To promote gender equality
  4. To reduce child mortality
  5. To improve maternal health
  6. To combat HIV/AIDSmalaria, and other diseases
  7. To ensure environmental sustainability[1]
  8. To develop a global partnership for development[2]

We believe that EDUCATION is the catalyst to improving the human condition and eradicating poverty. Check out this UNESCO presentation on how providing education is the key to achieving the 8 MGDs

 

Running For Kids Results Are In

Hey all, here are some pictures from our last event, Running For Kids. Thanks to everyone’s help, we raised $1485! That translates into about a year and a half of boarding school for one of our kids. Imagine that! One day of running and fun, along with some training, and we raised enough for a full year and a half of education, boarding, food, and the joy that comes with those things.

Thanks again to everyone! Please stay tuned for our upcoming events, including our second annual Axcellent Night.

Running For Kids Recap

Wow! What a day we had for a run this past Sunday at Goodlife’s Marathon Run. The sun was shining, a nice cool breeze was coming from the lake and all the runners seemed to be in good spirits as they tackled the road like Forrest Gump. Dreaming ForKids entered two teams for the Marathon Relay and with 15 runners in total, put in the 6th and 7th best times overall. We were really proud of everyone who participated! Not only did everyone put in great runs for their respective legs of the race, but also showed up on time with no real planning issues (our friend Charles might disagree,  who ran without his metro pass and found  himself in Mimico with a long walk back into the city. It’s OK, great cool down).

It was my first race experience and I must say, everyone should try it at least once. Going into the race, I worried about being able to finish and many people alluded to “Race Adrenaline” which I didn’t really understand until I took part in the race. With all these other runners around you, people cheering you on from the side and water stations every few kilometers, I seemed to have found an extra gear that made finishing easier than any practice run I had went on beforehand. Seeing great signs like “Run like you have to poop”, “You thought they said Rum” and “OH YES YOU CAN!” certainly helped push me closer and closer to the finish line which eventually came with thousands of supporters cheering us on.

After the race, most of the runners and many more friends got together at William’s Landing for a well deserved brunch and drinks. Not only were we blown away with the level of participation in the race, but we were more than ecstatic to see everyone come out for the brunch after. The food was delicious and we awarded prizes to the runners. A big thank you to @Caplansky’s and the @AGO for providing prizes to our runners who were more than deserving of a little extra incentive (other than the beer).

We couldn’t have asked for more from the day and because of the great people who helped be a part of our team we raised over a thousand dollars. That’s right $1000! We are so proud and thankful of everyone who took part in our event and we look forward to seeing everyone soon. 

Next up for the Dreaming For Kids team is our annual Axe Throwing event. Please keep your ear to the ground for future details and feel free to reach out to anyone on the team if your interest in purchasing tickets as there will be a limited quantity.

Have a great day everyone and keep dreaming!

Tarek

 

Ready! Set! We’re Running For Kids!

Running For Kids, the two teams representing Dreaming For Kids to relay the Goodlife Toronto Marathon, are all set to race this Sunday, May 3rd. Afterwards, we’ll make our way to Williams Landing in Liberty Village to celebrate!

All our supporters are encouraged to join us at the finish line as well as at our after party brunch at Williams Landing. There will be prizes! Our reservation is for 12:30 PM.

There is also still time to sponsor a runner or team. Just click the Donate tab on our website, email money transfer to info@dreamingforkids.com, or give cash to a runner!

We are really looking forward to this Sunday and hope to see you there!

Running For Kids Is Only Ten Days Away

We’re only ten days away from Running For Kids, where our runners will relay 5, 7.5, and 10 km of the Goodlife Toronto Marathon, to raise money towards Dreaming For Kids initiatives. All our runners are training up for the big day.

After the race, May 3 at 12:30 pm, we’ll be enjoying brunch at Williams Landing in Liberty Village. Come by to support us and have fun on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Everyone who attends will have a chance to win some prizes!

We also have two runners racing in the half marathon and we are excited to congratulate Pat Brousseau and John Aitken on a job well done!

On Sunday April 26 we will be having a group 5 km run at 11 am in Queens park. Message us for details!

Runners, you can download the following Pledge From to help yourself raise money.

Pledgeform

Supporters, you can donate through PayPal by clicking the donate tab above, email money transfer to info@dreamingforkids.com, or by giving cash to a runner or volunteer.

Why I’m Running For Kids

I remember in January 2011 when news of the Egyptian revolution started to spread like fire through news outlets, Facebook and various other social media sites. It was a day of hope as my relatives rejoiced in the news that President Mubarak’s reign was soon coming to a close (he would resign on February 11th).  Yet 4 years later, the country seems to be at more of a political unrest than it had before this revolution began.

My father was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt where he would go on to attain a degree in Engineering from the University of Cairo in 1968. He then came to Canada in 1975 to get his Masters from the University of Concordia and at the ripe age of 58 went back to do his MBA at the University of Ottawa.

It was an inspiration to see my father go back to school that late into his career. He had already accomplished so much that it was hard to believe anyone would want to go back to school when many people his age were thinking of what they would do in retirement. He would always preach the importance of “Knowledge is power” and was always supportive of any educational endeavors  my sisters or I pursued.

Education isn’t cheap though and my father, thanks to his hard work in school and professionally, he afforded me any opportunity I ever wanted. I am always grateful for that, which is why Dreaming For Kids is so important to me. It provides these children with the opportunity to get an education which can possibly alter their future for the better. Perhaps its to post secondary school, maybe it’s a chance to emigrate to another country, it can even be something as little as spreading what they’ve learned from others.

When I look at what’s going on in Egypt I often wonder, what would have happened if my father never left to pursue his education.  I doubt I ever would have been born (don’t think he and my mother would have ever met), but it’s also a reminder of how blessed I am to be in a country where our education is readily available to each and every one of us.  In a perfect world everyone would have access to education and a better life, and through Dreaming For Kids my hope is that we can make that a little easier for some kids. Whether it’s the political unrest in Egypt, an orphanage in Tanzania or a non-profit in Canada, hope is always the first step to a revolution.

By Tarek Kassem

Running For Kids is Right around the Corner!

Don’t forget that on Sunday May 3rd Dreaming For Kids will be Running For Kids!! Join us as part of a relay team to participate in the Goodlife Marathon in Toronto. It’s not too late to sign up as an individual or to put in your own team!

Have you ever been…

Curious to run a race but hesitant or intimidated by how to get started?

An experienced runner who wants to participate in the Goodlife Marathon but don’t have the time to train for the full run?

If so, then this event is perfect for you!  Teams can be comprised of up to eight runners to complete the marathon, so the distance is you wish to run is up to you – 5k, 7.5K or 10k – work with your team on what your relay goal will be! And best of all – Its for a GREAT cause.

Contact us for more details and to sign up info@dreamingforkids.com

GoodLife-Marathon

 

There are still a few weeks to prepare. Check out these 5k and 10k Training Plans from Runners world to help you get ready to Run For Kids!

5K Training Plans (all levels)

http://www.runnersworld.com/training/5k-training-plans

10K Training Plans (all levels)

http://www.runnersworld.com/training/10k-training-plans

 

Secondary school from Amiri’s Perspective

Copy of Amiri Letter