Feb 20, 2018

Winter story

The last activities outside before winter
The last activities outside before winter

Winter seems like a lot of fun, especially for the kids. There school break, Christmas, snow and the list can go on. For most of the children included in our project the reality is a bit harsher. Since they don't have proper houses, heating the rooms they live in is more difficult, and most of the time they don't have them means to do that. Even for they improvised stoves they are not always able to provide wood. Then, when it snows a lot, the community they live in becomes isolated. there is no proper road in the community and sometimes children have to walk for over 2 km through 30-50 cm snow, in order to go school.

This winter we tried to bring as much joy in their lives by offering them the possibility to enjoy most of the things every child enjoys. Around Christmas we went caroling, they got to see Santa Claus and receive gifts, we played in the snow, and continued to run daily activities in our educational center. Here, they can spend several hours every day, playing, doing homework, socializing, receiving social and psychological support, if needed. Also, they receive a hot meal every day, which is, unfortunately, the only meal some of them have.

Luckily, this winter was not very harsh in our region. Although it snowed a lot in the last period, the temperatures didn't go very low. As much as possible we tried to provide for the children proper clothing and shoes, since many kids were still wearing snickers in the snow.

All these being said, we are looking forward to the warm time, so that we can go out again in the community and be able to play and learn with the mobile school.

Counting the days until school break :D
Counting the days until school break :D
Nov 20, 2017

Back to school...for most

Children acquiring vital skills for school
Children acquiring vital skills for school

Mid-September is the time in Romania when most of the children are getting excited about going to school. For some of them is their first acquaintance with this institution, for others is just going back, progressing (in most cases) on the ladder of the education system.

A lot of the children that we work with have never been to a kindergarten, so the first day of school is their first contact with formal education. The huge leap between being allowed to do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, however they wanted and the rules they have to respect in the school framework represents for most of them a source of little adaptation to the school system. This later translates in higher chances of school drop out. In order to avoid that, for the entire summer children of 6 and 7 have attended a summer kindergarten, where they had the chance, often or the first time, to hold a pencil in their hands, to learn basic socialization rules, and acquire skills that vital for their future educational track.

Once summer is over, we make sure that they are in school every day and that they have all the support they need to overcome the adaptation period. The Mobile School sessions are the activities where they find out that learning can also be fun and where they can express their talents and creativity. This is why we keep a close contact with the small kids and their families and teachers, to make sure their start in education is as good as possible.

Sticking to those lines...
Sticking to those lines...
Aug 21, 2017

Summer vacation

Mobile School Game
Mobile School Game

School is over for this part of the year and kids are in the summer vacation. A wonderful oportunity for us to see them in a more relaxed setup. We can now see more children at one activity, since they are not in school in the morning. We choose the morning, since it's not that hot. Druing mid day temperatures reached this year 40 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, a lot of them spend much more time unsupervised in the street, exposing themselves to more risks.

The project team visits each community at least once a week, bringing the Mobile School, but also an inflatable slider and toys. The purpose is to create an attractive activity for the kids so that they can enjoy their time spent with us, but also learn something in the process. At the same time, during the activity, the street educators learn a lot about the situation the children are facing in their families: poverty, in most cases, domestic violence, alcohool abuse, lack of proper hygiene means etc. For most children, the time they spend in our company is the only time of the week when they get to behave and be treated as children, when they get to play and learn in a secure environment.

With more than 30 activities with the Mobile School, we had reached more than 100 children in the two communities from Iasi. In average we had 25-30 children attending each activity and there have been almost 100 hours of activities in the community.

Playing various game in the community
Playing various game in the community
Learning hoe to spell and count
Learning hoe to spell and count
 
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