Drawing activity on the Educational Center
In the disadvantaged communities in our region, winter is a particular difficult time. With temperatures dropping to -20 degrees or even lower, families have extra duties to worry about. Living in improvised houses, with improvised stoves to get them heated, means that they need to invest a lot of time in procuring the necessary materials to burn, in order to keep the fire burning. And they need to keep it burning pretty much all of the time. For children it is equally difficult. They need to cross a field with half matter snow and no trails to get to school. They don't have proper clothing or shoes, and because there is no running water where they live, they also have a poor hygiene. All of these are reasons for the little ones to not be able to attend school on daily basis.
Because of the cold and the harsh conditions, during the winter time we decided not to have activities with the Mobile School outdoor, but to move the activities indoor, in our Educational Centers. The Educational Center is an intermediary phase between the activities in the street and the school. There, children can play, can watch cartoons, can do their school assignments, can talk to a specialist if the need to etc. There is also a lot of organized activities, where they learn and develop abilities, skills and knowledge that will help them integrate better. To keep them connected and motivated, the Educational Center runs every day from Monday till Friday, so children can attend educational activities even when we cannot use the Mobile School outside.
Usually, we start working with the Mobile School in April, depending on the weather. This year, winter was longer than usual, so the first outdoor activities were in May. That brought a lot of joy for the children in the two communities where we visited. It’s always a good opportunity for them to leave behind all difficulties they face and to connect with their childhood. In “Dallas” community we had in average 25-30 children attending every activity. In Cantemir community, we have 20-25 children attending every activity. There have been 10 activities with the Mobile School, where more than 70 children played, learned and had a good time. And the summer is just beginning.
Discovering the differences