Unfortunately, this is not the case for everybody. Covid-19 is still out there and is affecting the future of children and young people worldwide. In many countries, reopening is not yet an option and schools remain closed to stop the further spread of Covid-19. By the end of this year, due to those measures alone, 9.7 million children will never be going back to school.
For children who, even before the corona crisis, spent most of their time on the streets, the situation is very alarming. Lockdowns, social distancing and hygiene measures are not only difficult to follow when you don't have a home, but also reduce your chances of survival. It is difficult to estimate exactly how many children are affected. They are not registered, are invisible and therefore often do not have access to government assistance. In India and Uganda, not possessing an identity card often makes the difference between food or no food.
Our Mobile School partners do everything in their power to reach these children, with or without a mobile school. In Sri Lanka, our partner Child Action Lanka prepared packages with basic necessities and learning materials based on the activities of the mobile school. Thanks to these learning papers, the children of some neighborhoods could continue to learn in a fun way. Since a couple of weeks, the mobile school has hit the streets again and children can get back to work on the black board and with the educational games.
In Mexico however, schools will not reopen until 2021. Until then, students are able to watch or listen to broadcasted lessons daily on television and radio. Beyond the fact that not everyone can be reached via television and radio, this situation eliminates all interaction. Students with questions have nowhere to turn. Our partner Yolia in Mexico was forced to put the mobile school aside for a while, but continued to closely monitor the children, youngsters and families they work with, online and by telephone. In addition, the team developed an interactive curriculum to combat school backlog.
In the meantime, Mobile School is committed to supporting its partners as well as possible this school year as well. As right now it is impossible to travel the world and provide training and materials on site, we focus on our digital projects and will soon launch:
- A brand new educational package on the consequences of Covid-19 for children on the street, accessible free of charge to everyone: http://play.street-smart.be
- Webinars for youth workers and teachers of our partner organisations on the use of the educational materials we develop
- Our brand new impact registration application for youth workers: StreetSmart Impact - with an app for the youngsters themselves to facilitate communication.
If all goes well, we will soon be able to start up a new mobile school in Poland!
To everyone: a good start to the new school year! To all teachers: good vibes! and thank you for taking up your essential profession and offering children new opportunities, especially under these challenging circumstances!
Help us to further support children who cannot go to school and make a donation via https://www.mobileschool.org/donate