Instead of bringing the children to school, Mobile School aims to bring school to the children. The project focuses on street children in Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe who have no opportunity to go to school. Street workers visit the children using a small hand cart that can be opened up to display several boards. These boards can also be used for different learning games, and prevents them from being stolen. Currently, 36 mobile schools are in operation in 21 countries. The schools deploy around 300 games that not only teach the basics of reading and arithmetic but also issues such as children’s rights, health, life skills and creativity. The street workers are trained by the organisation in Belgium, which also makes the materials available.
Mobile School aims to adapt to the world of street children and does so by relying on their strengths. Street children are viewed as experts in survival and are supported through the provision of the skills they need in order to survive in their world. The organisation’s funding model is also based on the children’s expertise and is run by another organisation: streetwiZe (http://www.streetwize.be). StreetwiZe analysed the children’s survival skills and used them to develop the following model: a positive focus + agility and resilience + proactive creativity + a balance between cooperation and competition = street wisdom. Training based on this model is now being provided to companies and partly takes place in contact with street children. The profits made by streetwiZe are then used to fund the mobile schools, so that the project is almost entirely self-funded.