On 28 August 1963, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous 'I have a dream' speech calling for justice, equality and an end to discrimination.
Fifty years on, although huge strides have been made to address these issues, there are still those who live ‘on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity’.
'I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed... that all men are created equal.'
In Angola, where gender inequality is entrenched, girls and women face an uphill battle.
Twenty-three-year-old Maria dreams of finishing her education and going on to further study: ‘I hope to do a Masters in financial auditing. It’s my biggest dream. I want to help companies with their structure and finance.’
Maria’s dream looks like it will become a reality thanks to Christian Aid partner UCF, who run a life skills programme called Girls Building Bridges.
The one-year course aims to promote greater self-esteem, social awareness and assertiveness.
It has given Maria the confidence to finish her studies – she is currently in the last year of an evening college course. ‘UCF helped me to open up my dreams,’ she said.
'I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.'
In India, the remote Santali communities of Jharkhand state have little knowledge of how wider Indian society works and are extremely vulnerable to exploitation.
Our partner, Sona Santal Samaj Samiti (SSSS), has helped to establish primary and secondary schools in the area.
Together with the communities, they have also designed a curriculum to strengthen the Santali’s sense of cultural heritage and pride, and help raise a generation better aware of their rights.
Father Thomas, a Jesuit priest who runs SSSS, says: ‘We have to persuade them [the communities], make them start dreaming; we want the next generation to say “we are in no way less than others”. That is a new dream that we give them.’
'I have a dream that one day... the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight.'
In Haiti, Fede Dunois lost his house in the earthquake of January 2010. He and his wife built a temporary and inadequate shelter from tarpaulin and any other materials they could find.
Back in 2010, Fede said: 'If we could dream of a house it would be with four rooms... and it would be made out of building blocks.'
In April 2013, we revisited Fede in his new house, built by Christian Aid partner GARR. It has three rooms and a veranda, is made out of bricks and cement, and is built to resist earthquakes and hurricanes. A dream come true.
Christian Aid has a dream today – an end to poverty.
By listening to, sharing and working with the dreams and hopes of the communities we support, we believe that our dream can become a reality.
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