Mobile School - Education for Children in Romania

by Save the Children Association Iasi
Mobile School - Education for Children in Romania
Mobile School - Education for Children in Romania
Mobile School - Education for Children in Romania
Mobile School - Education for Children in Romania
Mobile School - Education for Children in Romania
Mobile School - Education for Children in Romania
Mobile School - Education for Children in Romania
Mobile School - Education for Children in Romania
Mobile School - Education for Children in Romania
Mobile School - Education for Children in Romania
Mobile School activity in the countryside
Mobile School activity in the countryside

As the Mobile School is a great tool for non-formal education we thought it would be a great idea to visit some rural communities to spread the joy there as well. Especially during the summer, children in rural communities are very little involved in educational activities. In Romania, the summer vacation is approximately 3 month long, and due to the lack of financial means most families that live in the countryside can’t afford to send their children in summer camps or similar activities. Because of this, children are more or less on their own most days. Sometimes they help with the work on the field, sometimes they just accompany the parents so that they can be within reach, but structured activities are definitely missing.

Considering all that we packed the Mobile School in our trailer and took the road to visit several communities. The result was astonishing! The joy and the enthusiasm we found there were more than rewarding for the long hours spent on the road. There is a specific “hunger” for activities and interaction we have noticed when meeting these children, especially for those that live in more remote communities. They absorbed any initiative, any proposal we came with. Any game we suggested seemed to be the best, any activity seemed to really enlighten their day.

For most summer we combined activities with the Mobile School in Iasi and in the countryside. Three days in a week we would be visiting the children in rural communities and the energy and satisfaction we received motivates us to continue doing so the next summer as well.

Mobile School activity in the countryside
Mobile School activity in the countryside
Mobile School activity in the countryside
Mobile School activity in the countryside
Mobile School activity in the countryside
Mobile School activity in the countryside
Mobile School activity in the countryside
Mobile School activity in the countryside
Mobile School activity in the countryside
Mobile School activity in the countryside
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Education in the eye of a child
Education in the eye of a child

As the summer began, children started their school vacation. This is usually good news for us and for them. They get to spend more time playing and we get to spend more time playing with them.

The activities with the mobile school are longer and more packed with fun activities (games, competition etc.). The only thing that sometimes ruins our fun is the weather. This summer we had a lot of rain combined with very hot days, and that made things complicated on some occasions.

The activities with the Mobile School are combined with summer kindergarten for the children that haven’t gone to school yet. Most of the children in the region have never attended kindergarten also. That makes their adaptation to school difficult in most cases, which increases the chances of them dropping out from school. This is what we are trying to prevent by organizing these activities every summer.

As much as weather allowed we organized weekly activities with the Mobile School in the Two communities where we work in Iasi, These activities have been backed up by daily activities on the Educational Centers both for pre-school children as well as for the children that are already going to school or that intend on going to school but haven’t had the chance so far.

Mobile School activity
Mobile School activity
Cantemir activity
Cantemir activity
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During the winter it is impossible for the team that runs activities with the Mobile School to organize activities outdoor. This is why, starting November and sometimes until the end of April the almost the entire activity moves in the Educational Centers. This is where children have the chance to spend quality time after they finish classes every day during the week.

Quality time means that some of them get to watch cartoons (as they don’t have electricity at home), some of them get to play games that they can’t play anywhere else some of them get to talk to an adult in a secure environment about topics that present relevance to them. This is no little thing, as in their life outside of the Educational Centers, the adults around them either don’t have the time, or the knowledge or the will to it down and talk to them. For others he Centers are just a warm place where they can spend some hours instead of being on the streets, but they are welcome nonetheless, since we consider that the less time they spend in the street, the less they expose themselves to risks or marginalization.

Close to 100 children have visited the Educational Centers over the winter months, and most of them have done that almost every day. That is a sign of appreciation for the activities we propose to them and the time they spend together with us.

As the spring is coming, we will be able to visit them in the community and to bring the Mobile School with us. Alongside the Centers, this will ensure further impact to our wok and will contribute to changing these children’s lives for the better.

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Talking about education
Talking about education

The Mobile School is educational tool for non-formal education that can be used in a multiple of outdoor sets, due to its construction. However, snow and cold are not part of these sets. In our region winter often begins mid-October or the beginning of November, which forces us to move our activities of non-formal education in the Education Center exclusively, until the winter passes (which, usually, happens in April). This being said, it’s not necessarily a bad change. Here children have access to a variety of activities: educational recovery activities, plying, watching cartoons, and counseling.

Just having a warm space where they can spend quality time, and not being in the street, would be for us a step forward for most of the children attending the Center. This way, they avoid a lot of risks and exposure to negative behaviors and marginalization that have a bad impact on their development and self-esteem. Furthermore, during their staying in the Center they have the opportunity to improve their independent life skills and work on their social and communication abilities. Sometimes, they even choose to spend their time on the Center to watch cartoons, since most of them don’t have a TV at home and some of them don’t even have electricity. For several hours a day, the children that we work with have the chance to feel like normal children: respected, cared for, challenged in a positive environment, appreciated, valued for what they can be and not for where they live or how they look.

Every day from Monday to Friday around 100 children visit our two educational centers where they also receive a snack, but most importantly for them, they receive love and attention. Sometimes, the educational recovery happens on its own, just by creating the proper environment for these children to be able to be curios and to explore their talents.

All these are indicators that motivate us to continue the work we are doing in the Educational Center and with the Mobile School (during the warm time of the year) and to try to improve as much as possible the situation of the children in need in our region.

Saying `Yes` to School
Saying `Yes` to School
Develpoing math skills
Develpoing math skills
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After a rainy summer, the autumn is here. At least from the calendar point of view. Since the last report the weather was a lot friendlier with us so we could be more present in both communities where we work with children.

During this period there have been around 20 activities made in each community, to the delight of the young ones. When the wind was still we also brought with us an inflatable slider which brought another level to the amusement we can bring in the field.

Autumn also means the start of school in Romania. Our presence in both communities helped to boost the interest for education. Also we tried to identify the children that were in risk of dropping out of school or that were not enrolled in school yet and helped with their (re)integration. This is actually part of the constant work we do in the communities where we are present.

We identify children that are in the situations mentioned above in the communities. We work with the children in their own environment to empower them and to raise their self-esteem. When they feel confident enough, we invite them to attend educational activities on our educational center to further recover their gaps and to work on their skills. When they feel again empowered enough we challenge them to (re)start going to school. This is not an easy step to take and it is not definitive. Some of them still need support to continue their educational process. This support comes in the form of activities on the educational center and activities with the mobile school in the community.

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Organization Information

Save the Children Association Iasi

Location: Iasi, Romania - Romania
Website:
Project Leader:
Craciun Andrei
Iasi, Romania
$8,161 raised of $50,000 goal
 
53 donations
$41,839 to go
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