Back to press releases
  • Press release
  • Corporate philanthropy

The BNP Paribas Foundation is renewing its Dream Up education programme, supporting disadvantaged young people through the practice of art, supported by the Franco-Algerian choreographer Abou Lagraa

  • The BNP Paribas Foundation announces a 3-year extension to Dream Up, a support programme for education charities seeking to engage vulnerable young people through the practice of art.
  • Founded in 2015, with a budget of 1.6 million euros, the programme has already assisted 28 projects benefiting 30,000 children in 26 countries.
  • With a budget of 1.8 million euros, this latest event will offer support to 20,000 children in 30 countries.

30,000 children have benefited from the first edition of Dream Up

The aim of Dream Up is to participate in the education of excluded and vulnerable young people by helping them to learn or improve the practice of art. Launched in 2015, this BNP Paribas Foundation programme has so far supported 28 projects selected by local BNP Paribas staff around the world. Over the last 3 years, the 30,000 children who have benefited from the programme have carried out more than 1,500 workshops, internal events, shows and even artistic creations, such as CDs and exhibitions.

The positive feedback from those involved in the programme demonstrates the extent to which practising art is a powerful educational catalyst and confirms the positive impact of the programme on children's lives: by gaining new artistic skills, increasing self-confidence and self-esteem, understanding society and respect for others, tackling attention deficit issues and improving both attendance and the overall in-school experience.

A second edition supporting 20,000 children aged between 6-20

In light of this feedback, the BNP Paribas Foundation is today announcing the extension of
Dream Up for a further 3 years. The assistance provided to the charities selected for this new adventure will enable the creation of learning programmes covering music, the performing arts and the graphic arts, designed for vulnerable children and teenagers. With a budget of
1.8 million euros, this second phase of the programme will benefit 20,000 children aged between 6-20 in 30 countries around the world.

"Children from disadvantaged backgrounds or who have been uprooted by conflict raging in their country are unable to access culture and, in addition to their difficult day-to-day living conditions, will enjoy significantly fewer opportunities in the future. Providing them with an initiation into music, dance, theatre and the graphic arts in all their forms to enable a little joy to enter their lives, to help them regain self-confidence and to enable them to discover their own inner resources to overcome their day-to-day difficulties - these are the objectives of the Dream Up programme", states Jean-Jacques Goron, Managing Director of BNP Paribas Foundation.

Abou Lagraa, a French-Algerian choreographer, Dream Up ambassador and currently director of Cie La Baraka, whose background is similar to the young people participating in Dream Up, summarises the programme's spirit: "My journey can act as a catalyst, giving them belief in the future. I can therefore transmit to them the discipline of dance, the conduct that will enable them to face society with the necessary right physical and intellectual armoury."

Projects’ diversity and richness around the world

The involvement of BNP Paribas employees in projects selecting is one of the keys to the programme’s success. An understanding of local charitable networks and of the issues specific to each region ensures that the various projects have maximum impact.

The projects selected for this second phase once again reveal the diversity of objectives and projects. These include:

  • In France, the choreographer and dancer Michel Kelemenis, supported for a number of years now by the BNP Paribas Foundation, has decided to open up his dance school, KLAP, to as many young people as possible from districts in north Marseille. Some thirty teenagers will have weekly sessions with artists as well as technical and administrative staff to learn about all of the dance-related professions in the entertainment industry. A class for 11 and 12-year-olds is specifically dedicated to the project, in collaboration with the local school. A dance course will also be offered to 120 other young people aged between 10-14 during the school holidays.
  • In Brazil, the charity Comunitaria Monte Azul which operates in 2 deprived districts in São Paulo is receiving support from Dream Up for its Escola de Musica Monte Azul project. Three times each week this project offers initiation into music with theory lessons and instrumental or vocal practice, both individually and as part of an orchestra.  The young people regularly give concerts in public.
  • In Malaysia, where there are numerous displaced children from Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Bangladesh and Yemen, the Dignity for Children Foundation welcomes 25 to 40 children each year at its reception centre in Kuala Lumpur, to enjoy workshops on the graphic arts, photography, ceramics and sculpture.
  • In Senegal, the Gnon-Dema charity founded by Ablaye Cissoko, the celebrated singer-songwriter and musician, offers children intensive lessons in the Kora and traditional music at the Kordaba training centre he founded in Saint Louis, Senegal.

Press contacts:

Astrid Wernert - +33(0)1 87 74 54 64 – astrid.wernert [at] bnpparibas (dot) com

Alexandra Deleuze – 01 45 03 56 58 – a.deleuze [at] ljcom (dot) net

Cécile Dauzats – 06 32 20 23 21 – c.dauzats [at] ljcom (dot) net

Under the aegis of Fondation de France, the BNP Paribas Foundation has been a major figure in the field of corporate philanthropy for thirty years now. It also coordinates the international development of the BNP Paribas Group's philanthropic activities, wherever the bank has a presence. The BNP Paribas Foundation focuses its activities within a context of multi-disciplinary philanthropy, supporting innovative projects dedicated to culture, social solidarity and the environment. In order to maintain the quality of its commitments, the BNP Paribas Foundation offers its partners long-term project support. Since 1984, over 300 cultural projects, 40 research programmes and approximately one thousand social and educational initiatives have benefited from its support, both in France and throughout the world.