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About Dream a Difference


About the Project

The concept is simple – local poets will run monthly workshops and upload poems to a blog on the homepage of the site. In all other participating countries, children will have the chance to respond in poetry or letters to the poems that they connect with.

In partnership with young people across the world, we will explore and test the potential of technology to connect children and forge real relationships across political, cultural and socio-economic barriers.

The concept is simple – local poets will run monthly workshops and upload poems to a blog on the homepage of the site. In all other participating countries, children will have the chance to respond in poetry or letters to the poems that they connect with.

Dare to Dream a Difference Yr5&6 Chadlington UK (127)

Our Team

In Palestine the project is led by secondary school teacher Rania El Swalhir and the poet is Hind Zaqout. Hind Zaqout studied Arabic Language at the University of Gaza and gained her teaching qualification in 2010. She also has qualifications in communication skills and constructive criticism. Hind has taught Arabic language at the UNRWA schools in Gaza since 2007 and has taught creative writing since 2015. Hind Zaqout led the poetry workshops for Dream a Difference in 2017 and we are delighted that she is continuing to work with the project this year. She is working with a group of secondary school children aged 12 – 14 years old.
In Uganda the project is situated in refugee camps and is led by the National Association of Social Workers in Uganda. The artist is a songwriter and musician, Hassan Kayemba, who founded the Bitone Center for Children, located in the capital city of Kampala. The center is a music- based home that houses twenty-five children between the ages of 8 to 18, from every corner of Uganda. The program works with youth who have been traumatized by the death of their parents or loss of their home due to disease, war, or economic hardship. The full name of the center is actually Bitone Center for “Disadvantaged” Children, but to me, their attitudes reflect the contrary. The joy the kids experience from performing and nurturing their talents seems to transcend any losses they have experienced.
Francesca Beard is a London-based, Internationally acclaimed Malaysian-born writer who has been called ‘Brilliant’ by the Scotsman, ’Spine-tingling’ by The Independent and ‘The Queen of British performance poetry’ by London Metro. She performs poetry and runs workshops throughout the UK and represents British literature around the world with the British Council. She has over twenty years experience facilitating cross-arts projects with a wide range of diverse groups and communities, working across generations and internationally – from parent and baby groups in Bexley libraries with Apples and Snakes, to young student activists in Khartoum, with Femwrite, to older people at risk of isolation in Islington care homes as an associate artist with All Change Arts. She’s written commissions for institutions such as The Barbican, The Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace and The Royal Court. As a facilitator and dramaturge, she’s worked with institutions such as BBC Radio 3, The Young Vic, All Change and ICT Young Company to create ambitious, public facing, participatory community-led shows. She has been artist in residence at Banff, Canada and The Mixed Reality Lab, Nottingham University, to develop story-telling platforms for live and on-line audiences with B3 Media and Kings Cultural Institute. Her innovative, often interactive, multi-media one person shows are increasingly made in conversation with different communities. She recently toured ‘How to Survive A Post-Truth Apocalypse’ about story-telling, lies and language and is currently developing ‘Confabulation’, about the future of memory, supported by Arts Council England.
Lucinda Jarrett is artistic director of Rosetta Life. She founded the organisation in 1997 in order to challenge our contemporary representation of illness and to enable people who are facing death to participate more fully in cultural life. She is a published writer and poet, has worked with independent dancers and is a founder member of the Knowing Body Network, a network of movement practitioners working in health care. She has twenty years’ experience of delivering award winning, ambitious and high quality arts projects in health care delivered co-designed and co-produced with service users. She has produced patient engagement campaigns delivered through complex partnerships brokered between arts and health; she is recognised as a leader in arts in health innovation. She pioneered life story work in end of life care, developed the first online platform for palliative care service users, and developed songmaking platforms for adults and children using hospice services. She also leads performance projects across our national museums to engage the vulnerable and frail with the collections. Lucinda will be working at Chadlington Primary School with children aged 9 – 11years old and at The Cotswold School with a group of children aged 12 – 13 years old, at Garsinton Youth Opera and at Oxford Adolescent Mental Health Unit.

hris Redmond is a writer, performer and musician whose work often focuses on cross-media collaboration. A regular at UK music and literature festivals, he has performed on BBC Radio One, BBC Radio Four (Bespoken Word and Pick of The Week), Sky Arts, BBC Scotland’s Culture Show and recently on Scroobius Pip’s XFM show The Beatdown.}

Chris is the creator and host of Tongue Fu, one of the UK’s leading spoken word and music shows, where poets, comedians and storytellers perform with improvised music and films. Guests have included Kate Tempest, Akala, Robin Ince, Omar, Salena Godden, Ty and Howard Marks, with gigs at London Wonderground, The Udderbelly, The Barbican, Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room, Edinburgh Festival and many UK music festivals. “Poetry, but not as you know it…amazing.” The Guardian

“A wordsmith wizard, whose sublime art of storytelling in verse is impossible to ignore.” The Poetry Book Society.

Actor and director Conrad Cecil has lived in London, Paris, and, since 2016, in California. Stage directing credits include Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Georges Feydeau’s A Tailor for Ladies, and Ken Ludwig’s A Comedy of Tenors, at the Sutter Street Theatre, Folsom, California. In Paris, he assisted filmmaker Werner Schroeter at the Théâtre du Rond-Point on the Champs-Élysées. Conrad has appeared on the big screen alongside Sophie Marceau, Liam Cunningham, Clémence Poésy, Johan Leysen and Moritz Bleibtreu. Artist-in-residence for Nevada County Arts Council, California, Conrad teaches poetry writing and performance to children in remote communities in the Tahoe National Forest as part of the international exchange program Dream a Difference, and runs workshops on performing poetry at Beyond Baroque literary arts center in Venice, California. He prepared the text of an edition of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, in the original orthography of the 1609 Quarto for the Petrarch Press, a traditional fine-press. His book, L’anglais pour la diffusion international du spectacle, is in French and English and focuses on performing arts production. He has a master’s degree in Directing and Dramaturgy from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and King’s College London.
Casey has an MA in English and has been teaching local children poetry for over a decade, at school, in workshops and at poetry camps. She is a poet teacher with California Poets in the Schools and teaches creative writing at Forest Charter School in Nevada City. She finds poetic inspiration from odd news stories, remarkable words, and the mysteries of the human body. Her first collection, Ex Vivo: Out of the Living Body was published by Hip Pocket Press in 2012, and another one is on the way. Kirsten lives at the top of Banner Lava Cap Mountain, once a volcano. Her home is minutes from Scott’s Flat Lake, and less than an hour from the Yuba River in the South Yuba River watershed on the Western Slope of the Sierra. Olander and Casey will be working in Nevada Country, California at two small rural schools entitled Grizzly Hill School and Washington School. In both schools they will be working with a musician.
Mildred Bosha is a social worker who is receiving mentoring to lead the creative writing project from Lucinda Jarrett. Mildred Bosha She is working with bereaved children aged 10 – 16 years old at Island Hospice, Harare. Mildred led the project in 2017 and we are delighted that Island Hospice continues to be a partner in 2018. Mildred Bosha is working on the hospice programme designed for young carers and bereaved children which is aimed at promoting loss adjustment, coping and resilience which should in turn result in reduced vulnerabilities. The Dare to Dream a Difference workshop is aimed at acknowledging and working with the children’s challenges by providing a supportive environment for the children to express their feelings and to share experiences. The children come together and through play, drawings, poetry, letter writing and discussion were able to open up, share their experiences and to express their feelings. Island continues to conduct psychosocial support activities for vulnerable children in their community, understanding that these programmes need to be an ongoing process towards healing.
The project was delivered at Prince Edward School, Harare in 2018/19. It was led by Loice Majongwe who is married and a mother of two. She is a teacher by profession and teaches English language and literature. She has developed an interest in poetry and creative writing and teaches up to GCSE Level. She describes herself as a confident woman who believes in exploring with young minds and assisting them in developing their talents.

Blog Posts

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It is often hard to know how to get started writing a poem. If you have any favourite ways of starting to write a poem, do send them in and we will post them online.