Mobile school — Europe
Mobile School’s main objective is empowering street-connected children by offering educational activities which help them to rebuild their self-esteem and unlock their talents. As this requires a regular presence and positive interaction between the child and the street educator, they collaborate with local organisations that guarantee continuous work with the mobile school. They invest in long-term partnerships to realise sustainable impact on children and youth worldwide.
Mobile School started in 1997 by Arnoud Raskin, who then designed a school on wheels for street children, which was his graduation work as an industrial designer. The idea is to offer non-formal education to street connected children in the environment they are comfortable in and where they are the experts: in the streets. By deliberately focusing on opportunities instead of on the problems on the streets, Mobile School aims to be an open and recreational meeting place where children and youngsters are unconditionally accepted and appreciated. Through this positive approach, young people feel empowered and are able to regain a positive self-esteem and self-image.
Since the start of the organization, 48 schools were produced (all schools were and still are produced in a technical school in Belgium) and they now have operational schools in 25 different countries.
All Mobile School projects are managed by independent local partners, closely monitored and coached by a small team of experts based in Leuven, Belgium.
The number of forcibly displaced people is rising (around 63 million in 2015 according to UNHCR). Climate change and ongoing conflicts force people to leave their homes. Consequently, there is an increasing pressure on facilities in neighbouring countries. Many people continue their journey and head to Europe, crossing the sea on a dangerous trip. Since the beginning of 2014, more than 1.6 million people arrived by sea on the European continent (UNHCR, 2017).
Although they have experience with street-connected children migrating to different cities in Tanzania and Kenya and internally displaced populations in Colombia, the work with refugees is relatively new for Mobile School and requires a slightly different approach.
Because children on the move stay in one place for shorter periods than other children we meet in the streets, the process started by street educators is shorter and other needs have to be addressed.
The focus of the interventions is, therefore, on stress relief and on offering a positive educational environment where children can express their emotions, learn, play together and feel like a child again. Even if it is only for a short moment on their journey.
Let Yourself Trust will specifically be partnering with Mobile School on projects in Greece and in Germany that are based around refugee children.
For more information, visit Mobile School.
For a visual look at what they do, visit their Youtube channel.