One Becomes a Thousand

The impact of your generosity is multiplying, from life to life to life across Egypt.

So what kind of return on investment do you reap when you build into the lives of Egyptian child laborers? I was just in Cairo and saw the results myself.


A landscape dominated by over 300 brick factories.

The local visionary that offers education to brick factory workers invited me to their annual party to celebrate the end of the month of ritual fasting. I squeezed into a van packed with several local young volunteers helping to host the festivities.

I braced myself for the long, hot drive, straining to understand colloquial Egyptian Arabic slang. But that was when I got my first surprise of the day.

“So how are you?” one young man turned and asked me in perfect English. I had to shake my head to make sure I wasn’t imagining things. “Uh, fine,” I stammered.

During the sweaty drive, we got to know each other. He explained that he and the others in the bus all live and work in the largest garbage collection area in Cairo. Years ago, this local visionary had been their teacher at a special school for garbage city working kids. She had cajoled, threatened, and enticed them to learn to read and write. They affectionately call her, “Mama”. Now young adults, her former students did not hesitate to give up a holiday to help their former teacher.

We arrived at the surreal apocalyptic smothering brown landscape. We made our way through a dusty alleyway to an astro-turf playing field. The team from the garbage city went to work with current teachers from the visionary’s school. Word quickly spread, and kids materialized from their dusty surroundings.

The contrast within moments of our arrival was stunning. Uproarious laughter. Brilliant colors. Joyful shouts. More peals of laughter.

Two things stood out. One, the guys from the garbage city, all former students of the dreamer, were engaged heart and soul enjoying the youngsters around them. They hugged them and teased them with abandon.

And, two, the “coolest” older kids from the area were just as eager as the little ones to sit in line to receive their party favors: a juice pack, a cookie, and a toy.

I was astonished. No pushing. No shoving. But I took note of all those personal touches with each child. A special handshake. A tousling of hair. A playful punch. These kids were waiting in line for one-on-one personal recognition – not juice or snacks. They reveled in this “I count to someone” experience.

The debrief after this second annual party was revealing. Most of the children participating were the visionary school attendees, but about twenty more were local children who spontaneously showed up. And even more significantly, a dozen girls joined in the festivities. Their very conservative families had entrusted them to the visionary’s school team, and allowed them out of their homes on their own. Wow!

Activity Team debriefing.

And those leading the activities? Seven were the visionary’s former students from the garbage city. Two are students in their 20’s who are still benefiting from the visionary’s school. And two are lawyers who grew up in and live in the area, and who extend their workday into the night as brick kid schoolteachers.

So what has your investment achieved? You make it possible for Dreams InDeed to strengthen this visionary’s hand with mature local leadership. Because of your investment, her vision is now clear, her mission and values are defined, her strategy is on target, and her financial stewardship is sound.

But most importantly, kids lives are being changed, one after the other. Kids, who work in brick factories, thank you. Young adults, who are now teachers, thank you. And other young adult volunteers, who want to imitate their teacher’s commitment to the weakest, thank you.

Years ago, local leaders took this dreamer under their wing as a young girl in a male-dominated setting to affirm her as valuable and worthy of an education. She has returned to do the same with her own students. And I’ve watched those grown up students now passing on the impact by affirming and loving other little ones.

It is possible for the smallest one will become a thousand.

Swiss Secretariat

Dreams InDeed
Rue de Lyon 77

US Network Hub

Dreams InDeed International
Post Office Box 549
Wheaton, IL 60187 USA


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We’ve got some great news to share from the Haskells!  

 However, before we jump into that, allow us to introduce ourselves as the chairs of the US and Swiss boards of directors for Dreams InDeed. 

I am
Rick Williamson, US board chair.  As a clinical psychologist, I specialize in trauma recovery and strengthening individuals and communities against stress impact. I prepare humanitarians and responders worldwide to serve effectively in harm’s way.  Over my fifteen years in this field, I’ve recognized the essential role of those special persons in every community who embrace and build up their most affected neighbors. 

I serve with Dreams InDeed not only because we engage in the world’s hard places, but we also aim to strengthen the “insider” for the truly transformative impact that the world so desperately needs. I am honored to serve along with each of you in support of the Dreams InDeed mission.

And, I am
Joe Campbell, Swiss board chair.  As a mediator in civil and political disputes, I contributed to peaceful resolution of the troubles in my home country of Northern Ireland, leading to the Good Friday Agreement.  I also mediated in Nepal alongside politicians, community activists, and church leaders in the search for a just and lasting peace. In both, I supported Dreamers and have often been a Dreamer myself. 


I know what it means to be affirmed and encouraged by outsiders who make it their business to be informed enablers.  That sensitive participation fosters hope amidst despair.  It is my honour to join in the crucial work of Dreams InDeed.  Together with you, I will do all I can to nurture sparks of hope into lights of joy.

Now, here is the news we just received from David and Janice in the Middle East:


Dear Rick and Joe, 


Thank you for your faithful and effective servant leadership as our US and Swiss board chairs.  We were challenged by the wisdom and faith of both boards setting such ambitious goals this year.  As our fiscal year gets underway now in July, we’re excited that strategic doors of opportunity are swinging open on every aim we agreed together!  


Goal: equip exemplary dreamer cases in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and East Africa.  Progress: despite escalating violence, dreamers are persevering with six initiatives among the hardest countries of the worldwide Fragile States Index.  This year, we’ll sustain both Dreams InDeed’s unprecedented regional registration and our continuing Jordan residency to strengthen these dreamers, guided by Janice.


Goal: research parable communications to engage closed minds via both word and deed.  Progress: The University of Oxford has approved David for doctoral field research on The Pedagogy of Parable.  To develop this Dreams InDeed training curriculum, David will shuttle between research in Oxford and case work on the ground in the Middle East.


Goal: research publishable Middle East cases on the transformation of pluralist conflict.  Progress: an exemplary Lebanese visionary has volunteered his civil society, public service, and business networks for rigorous field research.  Plus two Oxford professors, experts in values education and intercultural dialogue, will supervise the fieldwork.  


Goal: engage next-generation prospects to serve dreamers in hard places worldwide.  Progress: Kellogg College, with Oxford’s greatest number and diversity of international graduate students, has granted David membership.  Adjacent to Kellogg, Dreams InDeed has secured an operating base in Oxford for us to host and befriend global candidates.


Goal: expand our thought leader networks for aligned advisors and European board members.  Progress: upon review of David’s Pedagogy of Parable research proposal, six professors immediately volunteered their expertise in international development, political science, public policy, economics, leadership science, and character cultivation.



On behalf of the boards of directors of Dreams InDeed, we thank you again for journeying with us on our mission to strengthen dreamers in hard places so the poor thrive as God intended. We look forward to your continuing participation as we accelerate toward our shared vision: “a light in every hard place in our generation.”