During March and April 2013, Dream Learn Work organized a workshop to help students find motivation, define their dreams and trigger the commitment they need to make a dream come true.
From the left; Allan Gomes (22), Caio Nascimento Rocha (21), Lorena Augusta Costa (22) and Renan Silva (17).Dream Learn Work is a non-profit organization created by Norwegian companies operating in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, that offers young Brazilians from less developed areas of the city a chance for a better future through education and training. So far, Dream Learn Work has sponsored the training of more than 250 students in disciplines like safety technician, naval electricians, industrial plumbing and welding. Only in 2013, Dream Learn Work sponsored close to 100 course seats.
Ten DLW students, both current and former, were invited to participate at the workshop, held in March and April, in the old Behring factory in Rio de Janeiro.
«Dream Learn Work helps the students in acquiring a technical skill, like welding or automation, but we see that many lack motivation to take the first, sometimes difficult steps into the job market and many find it hard to hold on to the dream that made them enter a Dream Learn Work course in the first place. We have seen examples of students that drop out of the courses, and wanted to create a project to change this. It can be hard for all of us to get up in the morning, and in this workshop we have used photography as an art form to express our dreams and talk about motivation», Dagny M. Nome explains.
She is the manager of Corporate Partnerships and Communications of the Dream Learn Work initiative, and was one of the main organizers of the event, together with visual artist and photographer Fabricio Cavalcanti, Marcela Werneck de Mello and Cristina Romanelli
All of the participants were given cameras, and during the first day of the workshop, they learned the basics of the cameras and how to use them. All of the participants brought the cameras home to photograph their neighborhoods, their daily lives and their dreams.
22 year old Lorena Augusta Costa photographed buildings and urban spaces. Her dream is to become an architect, and she is a first year student of architecture at Unisuam in Bonsucesso.
«I took photos in Lapa, of the Teatro Municipal and the cathedral and focused on architecture. We were told to focus, in life and when taking photos, and that the ideal is to focus on something that makes you feel good», Lorena says. She recently completed her internship at Norsul Navegações, after taking a course to become a QHSE technician, from 2011-2013.
Lorena and the other participants talked about their dreams and aspirations on camera. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”, she says, quoting Confucius.Starting point
The goal of the workshop was to stimulate reflection and initiate a process where the participants carefully consider how they can reach their goals and what steps they need to take to get there.
«The Dream Learn Work course I attended was a starting point for me, allowing me to follow my dreams. My family is from Minas Gerais, a state with a very rich architectural tradition. Now I want to learn more about photography. To me this workshop has been great», Lorena says.
Allan Gomes (22) photographed an oil platform in the Guanabara bay and a playground, and shared two different dreams with the other participants.
«My dream is to work offshore. I also admire the innocence of children and wish we all could be more like them», he said.
Lorena, Allan and the other participants spent three Saturdays together this last month. Statoil, one of the main sponsors of the DLW initiative, also sponsored the cameras used in the workshop. Dagny M. Nome calls the workshop an eyeopener to her personally.
«On the first day we talked about how to focus and how to make a selection of the reality that surrounds us. The second Saturday we looked at the photos that the participants had taken. One of them lives in Maré, a region recently occupied by the police and the Brazilian army, and told us he was scared to take photos in the neighborhood where he lives. As a result of this experience he shared with us, we talked about how you can express what you feel through photos. We are also planning a bigger event where a selection of the photos will be exhibited», Dagny M. Nome says, and continues:
The participants were all challenged to try to illustrate their dreams in photos.«To me it has been extremely interesting to get this chance to see reality through the eyes of our students and hear their stories, through the photos they have taken.»
In June 2013, Dream Learn Work changed the course plan , and the ambition is to make the DLW courses very easyly accessible to the students. But in order to continue they need to complete and show commitment.
With the introduction of this new course model, only 6 percent of the students drop out of the courses, and many participants go on to work for Dream Learn Work partners.
«The challenge is to keep walking and make the choices necessary to make your dream come true», supervising photographer for the workshop, Fabricio Cavalcanti concludes.
By Runa Hestmann, NBCC journalist