The Optimist Citizen

An NGO is utilising colour to honour its patrons and support entrepreneurs from distressed communities

An Ahmedabad-based NGO, Dreams Foundation, has come up with a renewed way to visualise dreams in a workplace and honour their patrons. Their program “Happy Spaces” is a colourful and fun way to give to back to those who give to them. Confused? Please read on. The Happy Spaces initiative ensures that you get beautiful paintings in return for your contribution. However, these are no ordinary paintings. Each painting comes with an inspirational quote, creating a positive vibe and atmosphere in your home or workspace.


Entwined with the happiness associated with reading such quotes on regular intervals, the program also supports individuals who have skill or talent and are willing to work hard but lack the means to showcase their work to a larger audience.

Image courtesy: Dreams Foundation
Image courtesy: Dreams Foundation

Dreams Foundation essentially works to support individuals in their entrepreneurial pursuits who can’t overcome the cycle of poverty that they are trapped in. Family or friends are ruled out as pillars of financial support. This leads them towards loan sharks who offer loans at extremely high interest rates, often resorting to violent means for retrieval of loan. Dreams Foundation realized the opportunity cost here and offers loans at no interest to these poor entrepreneurs to allow them get on their feet quickly, without getting knee-high in debt. These grassroots entrepreneurs have been funded for diverse initiatives such as cow-dairy, pedal-rickshaws, convenience stores, flour mill, tailoring etc.

Many people have joined the Happy Spaces program and the paintings have become a part of their life. Corporates and hospitals have found that their employees and patients read the paintings and find inspiration in them. Individuals too have been buying the paintings for their homes, businesses or for their clients. Many have invested in a yearly program, again a novel idea – for a fixed sum, you receive inspirational paintings to display in your home or office, one for each day of the year!

Image courtesy: Dreams Foundation
Image courtesy: Dreams Foundation

And who are behind these paintings? A group of volunteers, artists and slum kids gather bi-weekly to create these beautiful paintings. The kids who paint are compensated for their efforts, thus allowing them to take home earnings from their talents and efforts. They are also made aware that their work is being used for a positive cause, thus closing the circle of giving. To find out more about “Happy Spaces”, you can visit


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