It’s not only us who support street children on the 12th of April with a surprise action, our partners in Africa, Asia, Europa and Latin-America join forces with us:
- In Tanzania, Kivuko organises a big event on one of Mwanza’s local government locations, the police and some local NGO’s. The children will host amongst other things a big theatre show.
- Our partner organisation Leedo in Bangladesh organises a parade starting at the harbour together with the children.
- In India, our partner EkTara has planned a surprise action on the day itself.
- In Pakistan, the Shifa Foundation and Lettuce Bee Kids, two potential Mobile School partners, organise an event with different activities. They will launch a wash-your-hands campaign, they will show an animated video about child protection and they will creatively visualise the dreams of the children they work with.
- In Greece, Praksis will walk the mobile school through the city, all the way from their Drop-In Centre to the market place. The mobile school will be put into service as a meeting place for children and families. During this street working session, street children will be in the spotlights, and children will be encouraged to do things by creatively using material found on the streets.
- In Nicaragua it’s all about football. Proyecto Las Chavaladas of our partner Asociación Niñas y Niños del Fortin will organise a football tournament in one of their Mobile School sectors. At the same time they will organise a drawing tournament next to the mobile school with the central theme being living on the streets.
Of course our other partner organisations have plans as well to put street children all over the world into the picture. Follow us on our social media, we will keep you up to date!
Street children are top news internationally
The International Day for Street Children is also widely celebrated outside our own partnership network. Mobile School is a proud member of the Consortium for Street Children, a worldwide network of 90 organisations. The Consortium engages in the international compliance with the rights of street children. As organisers of the International Day for Street Children, they lobbied the past years in order to officially recognise the 12thof April as International Day for Street Children.
In 2017, the United Nations Commission for the Children's rights published, together with the Consortium, a document outlining the policy about children growing up on the street (The General Comment on Children in Street Situations), and added it to the Convention of Children’s Rights. Different Mobile School partners worked together on this document making sure the voices of the street children were heard. Using this document, the Consortium for Street Children wants to request governments to put street children on the national agenda and to request them to make the necessary budgets available. Not just words, but actions. That’s the Consortium’s device for the occasion of the 12th ofApril the “4 steps to equality”- campaign, in order to enforce compliance of the General Comment.
Mobile School, together with the Consortium, wants to call governments, companies, organisations and individuals to take into account the following four points:
- Equality: street children enjoy the same rights as other children
- Protection: protect street children against violence and maltreatment and make sure they can access legal assistance when needed
- Access: street children should be able to access the same services just like other children, like hospitals and schools so as to develop their full potential
- New solutions: develop specialised interventions tailored to the needs of children living on the street
This sounds normal, doesn’t it? Of course it does. But in reality those four points are still not adhered to. Millions of children on the street do not enjoy any rights. That’s why it’s important to point this out, year after year. All the actions of the Consortium regarding the 12thof April can be easily followed by using the hashtag #streetchildrenday.
UNICEF estimated in 2005 that there were more than 100 million children living on the street. Determining the exact amount is difficult, though. Street children are scared of any kind of registration. On top of that it is a diverse group of children: children living permanently on the street, children on the move and children hanging around the streets. A growing world population, continuing conflicts, economic crises and the growing urbanisation are the main causes of the rise of the number of street children to an estimated 150+ million. Moreover there also street children living in Canada, the United States and different European countries.
Living on the Street
Children on the street are confronted by a lot of challenges on a daily basis, lack of basic needs, violence, abuse, sickness and discrimination. Years of experience on the street means we started seeing the enormous potential street children have: they’re very resilient, have a positive focus, they’re creative, and they switch between competition and cooperation at exactly the right moment.
Mobile School builds on the strengths of street children. We build mobile schools and train street workers everywhere to take the schools out on the street. All materials and games are aimed at improving self-esteem and identity, discovering talents and empowerment. This way they build a solid base of self-belief, self-confidence and motivation, a necessary base to keep growing even further.
Mobile School implemented 49 mobile schools in 25 countries and in 2017 we had more than 70,000 direct contacts with street children all over the world during 3,400 street work sessions using mobile schools. Our vision complies us to engage in the 4 steps to equality campaign by offering an innovative package of educational materials to our organisations who engage daily in improving the lives of street children. Because street children have rights, and deserve – just like any other child – to develop their own potential.