In 2011, a bunch of us came together to create a newsletter for patients, by patients. Since then, Project Dreamcatchers has grown. And we are now ready to take on the world.
Brought to you by the Department of Paediatrics of the National University Hospital, Project Dreamcatchers is a visual arts exhibition featuring works by youths living with childhood chronic illnesses.
Through a series of collaborations with professionals in the creative circle, these youths embark on a process to produce artworks that empower them to share their aspirations and hopes while raising awareness that childhood chronic illnesses are not disabling.
Project Dreamcatchers is part of the adolescent chronic illness peer group programme for youths, 13 – 35 years old, who are living with various forms of childhood chronic illnesses. These include congenital conditions like spina bifida, heart conditions, end-stage renal failure, rare genetic conditions and diabetes.
- Create public awareness about childhood chronic illnesses
- Convey the message that childhood chronic illnesses are not disabling
- Showcase the different talents of our youths through the use of expressive arts
- Nurture our youths, empowering them to take charge of not only the event, but their medical conditions and their lives as well.
- Profiling our youths and their achievements, serving to inspire other youths in the community.
Every youth with a childhood chronic illness will have the same opportunities as their peers, to aspire and build their dreams.
To enable and empower every Dreamcatcher, and create for them opportunities, to lead purposeful lives and achieve financial independence.
“If you judge a book by its cover, you might miss out on an amazing story.”
Dreamcatchers in the Media
Another good example of a youth-led initiative is Project Dreamcatchers. It was conceived by a group of young people who wanted to help the chronically-ill express their aspirations through art and bring them hope and affirmation in the process. Some patients had the opportunity to present their artworks at the SHINE Youth Festival last year. 67. One of them is 22-year-old Vanessa Leong, who relies on crutches to move around. To remind herself to live positively despite her physical challenges, she created art out of a pair of crutches that she refers to as “Happy Crutches”. She said, “Art is a way for me to express myself whenever I feel hopeless. Whenever I’m going through a hard time, this reminds me to keep going”. Vanessa hopes to inspire others like her to look on the bright side of life.
Mr Lawrence Wong
Minister of Culture, Community and Youth