Making Dreams Come True
Dreams Society was officially established in 2011, and is dedicated to making the dreams of terminally ill children and those with debilitating diseases come true.
Whether it is small dreams like owning an iPad, or a big dream like travelling or being a doctor for a day, the non-profit organisation works closely with the family and children in need to ensure their dreams turn into a reality. Perle Magazine spoke with Chairperson Eman Nooruddin and Board Member Mariam Turki to learn more about the work Dreams Society has carried out over the years.
The idea of starting a charity stemmed from Chairperson Eman having previously worked with the international charity Make-A-Wish foundation. Eman, and Board Member Mariam Shekar, along with 9 other members, decided to build a charity with similar goals and aspirations. Using their contacts of doctors, lawyers and everyone else who majored in a specific field that could help set up a charity, Dreams Society came to life. The organisation caters to the dreams of the severely ill children being treated in Bahraini hospitals, such as Salmaniya Hospital.
The children are given forms to fill out by the hospital after which the board members review the dreams. The children are met in person to get a better understanding of them and their dream. They are given three choices to make sure that if one option is not achievable, there are others available. “Sometimes they want to travel and the doctor says it is not possible because of the condition of the child, so we would move to option number 2” explained Mariam. ‘’One of the most exciting moments, of having a dream fulfilled is not just getting the chance to turn a dream into a reality, but also how the dream is brought to the child. We don’t just go and give them the gift. We take a cake and balloons for them, and we plan a whole day for them. We go and celebrate with the children and their families and make it into an event” Mariam explained.
Every dream is special and unique. One of the most memorable ones, Mariam recalled, was redecorating the room of a child who was passionate about BMW cars. Working in association with EuroMotors, who donated the gift, the room was entirely redone with the theme of BMW. EuroMotors also created a bed using the body of an actual BMW car to add that special touch to the child’s room.
Another special dream that was carried out was for a child who wanted to be Spiderman for a day. Bahrain Cinema worked with Dreams Society and allowed them to use the whole cinema for a day, where a staged robbery took place. The child was allowed to dress up as Spiderman and save the day. “The father came up to me and said ‘I’ve never seen my child this happy’. We truly believe that the happier you are, the more you could heal yourself. So this is so fulfilling for us”, Mariam said of their work.
Undoubtedly, the hard work and dedication of Dreams Society leaves a lasting impression on all those involved. One such case, Mariam says, was when a girl was given the chance to explore her dream of becoming an artist. Bahraini artist Amina Al Abbasi gave the girl a lesson on how to utilise her art skills effectively. The girl went onto displaying her work in a Dubai art gallery. Artwork produced by her will also be used as a token of appreciation to be given to the supporters of Dreams Society.
The organisation works towards not only fulfilling a dream, but in some cases completely transforms the child once his/her dream comes true.
One example is that of, Juwaireya Shomili, who had a simple wish of owning an iPad. She started logging her travels to Singapore for treatment on her iPad, Eman Nooruddin explained, and it resulted in her publishing a book (in Arabic) called I Am Stronger Than Cancer. Shomili also became a motivational speaker and travels the GCC, talking about her experiences. She also started her own charity called Hope and works with Dreams Society, as well as Child’s Wish charity, to help fulfil other’s dreams.
As well as hosting a variety of events for the children to partake in throughout the year, Dreams Society’s biggest event is the annual Ramadan Ghabgha, which takes place at the Gulf Conventional Centre. Hosting around 800 guests, money is raised through raffles and auctions as well as ticket sales. The funds collected will be used for fulfilling 30 dreams in 30 days of Ramadan, #30dreamsin30days, as well as for dreams to be fulfilled after Ramadan. Other events include sessions with Master Fawzeya Alsendi at the Reiki Centre, who gives lessons on how to harness positive energy and also activities like attending the Formula One, and the Bahrain Air show.
Dreams Society also recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Make-A-Wish Foundation in Abu Dhabi. This allows them to work with the international charity and make dreams come true outside of Bahrain.
Whether it is simply getting the opportunity to have a fun day out at the Twinkle Twinkle activity centre followed by cooking classes with Villa Mama’s owner Roaya, Dreams Society makes sure the dream is realised. Through their dedication and hard work, the charity ensures that the children they come across have a chance to embark on the journey to fulfilling their dreams.
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