Stories

We are active throughout the world. There is much to experience on the street, hence you learn a lot. Here we share our experiences.

  • Street workers: Iasi - Romania

    Street workers Romania

    "The activities we do with the mobile school make it possible to learn from one another. We are constantly learning from the children, and the mobile school has a positive influence on their behaviour: it helps them develop self-respect, discover new things, and freely express their opinions and wishes." street workers in Romania

  • Street workers: IPTK-Cerpi, Sucre - Bolivia

    Street workers Bolivia

    "The children and adolescents we work with have been neglected completely by the state. There is no policy that focuses on the street children. The streets are full of children and adolescents who lose their childhood innocence when they arrive on the street in search of an income. Unfortunately for many in our country, this is considered entirely normal. Fortunately, we are able to reach our target group with the mobile school. This of course is a process in which we focus on the child and his or her environment. Consequently, we must first earn their trust in order to search together for each child's desires and talents. The children themselves find the mobile school activities terrific. They even complain if we are unable to come to a specific sector for a day. They truly see the mobile school as their school." street workers in Bolvia

  • Street workers: Virlania - Philippines

    Street workers Philippines

    "Working here in Virlanie has changed my life drastically. After 4 years of studying to be a nurse, I realised that I could do more on the street than other nurses do in hospitals. My motivation increases each time I see what we are able to accomplish with the mobile school to support families and children in taking action to improve their lives". a street worker from the Philippines

  • Street workers: Arsis, Tirana - Albania

    Street workers Albania

    "The mobile school is very well suited to the children's natural environment, on the street or in the communities. The mobile school has great appeal. When on the street, we adopt the rules of the children. We thus respect their freedom to make choices." street workers in Albania

  • A street child's dream: Eliezer

    A street child's dream: Eliezer

    18-year old Eliezer was born and raised in Managua (Nicaragua), and lived with his family in Nindiri. When he was only 6, he witnessed the death of his father. He saw him die of a wound to the head after being hit by a car. Since then, he has had a poor relationship with his mother and grandmother. They became addicted to alcohol and beat him often. They wrongly accused him of stealing money. Eliezer ran away from home at the age of 8 and began sniffing glue. At the age of 12, he began working as a shoeshiner. He still has no contact with his family.

    His dream is to have a home in Masaya, a wife and a child whose name is ‘Enoc’. It will be a home with a garden containing trees and flowers.

  • A street child's dream: Corina

    A street child's dream: Corina

    Romanian Corina (13 years old) got to know the mobile school in 2008. She lives in Ses Bahlui together with her 8 brothers and sisters in an improvised home on a hill. The house in which they live belongs to relatives of the family, and they occupy only 1 room. Her mother has a number of cleaning jobs. The money she receives for this together with a small child allowance is the family's entire income. When it rains, it is very difficult for Corina and her sisters to get to school. The road between their home and the school then turns to mud. Despite the fact that they only have electricity and a limited number of appliances, the children are always clean, and the mother (together with the street workers) pays much attention to their education. Corina is doing well at school. With the support of the street workers, she participated in a poetry competition and won first prize. She very much enjoys the mobile school activities. Sometimes she even helps other children with the exercises and the games they play.

    Corina's biggest dream is to become a poet, because she has talent and believes in her dream. Which is why she drew a book of poetry.

  • A street child's dream: Emmanuel

    A street child's dream: Emmanuel

    Emmanuel (13 years of age) is the oldest in a family of four (including one girl). His mother is single and works at the waste dump in Dandora (Kenya) in order to support her family financially. Emmanuel has not been to school since the sixth grade because his mother's new friend did not want to spend any more money on school. Last year he got to know the mobile school and the street workers at the waste dump in Dandora. He was always very active when the mobile school was there. Emmanuel would like to return to school, but his mother is unable to pay the school fees (enrolment, school desk and uniform).

    The drawing on the mobile school is a bus. Emmanuel's dream is become an engineer and start a company to purchase and resell vehicles at a profit. He wants to use the profits to help children who need assistance, and to support his mother. His real dream is to buy a home for his mother. So that she can leave the slum and have a better life.

  • A street child's dream: John Paul

    A street child's dream: John Paul

    16-year John Paul comes from the Province of Batangas, four hours’ drive from the Filipino capital Manila. He ran away from home because his stepmother mistreated him physically. He rode a public bus out of the city without knowing where it was going. John Paul now lives on the streets of Sucat, Parañaque City. He sleeps in an abandoned vehicle parked on the street. He survives on the street by collecting waste, cleaning public vehicles and doing errands for a nearby cafeteria.
    John Paul comes to the mobile school regularly. He is determined to continue his studies while living on the street. He is presently registered for the second year of secondary school. A benefactor from the neighbourhood is supporting him with his education.

    John Paul inspires other street children because he never stops dreaming, and works hard to realise his dreams.

    John Paul would like to become a sailor. Even though he was misused by his family, they continue to inspire him to realise his dreams. He would like to help them. He, however, believes that he can only accomplish his dream if he completes his studies. For this reason, he tries to be present for the lessons as often as possible, even though he has no real place to live.

  • Innovative at the dump

    Innovative at the dump

    A group of young people lives together at the dump in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. They search every day for things to eat, reuse or sell.

    Recycling is one of the largest sources of income. Almost everything has economic value. All metals, plastic and paper are sold by the kilo. The young people at the dump know very well the value of each type of waste and the place where it can best be found. A creative way to earn more money is to collect only a specific type of bottle. They receive back a greater deposit for certain bottles (e.g. expensive brands of water) than for other bottles. A group of street children discovered after a short time that the expensive bottles could primarily be found in the north of the dump. Bottles that came from the north of the city where more rich people live and who purchase more expensive bottles of water. Thus they go to work creatively, and adapt each day to their environment.

    The street workers with the mobile school visit weekly. Some of the children have been participating for five years. For others, it is the first time. A group of street children that had lived there for some time, became tired of collecting bottles. They had to work hard every day, and received little money in return. Yet they wanted to remain at the dump, because they see it as their home, a place where family and friends live. Then they hit on an idea! Together they purchased two piglets at the market, a male and a female. At night they lock them up in a pen they made. During the day, the pigs roam the dump in search of food. They developed a system of marking the ears of the pigs to know which pig belongs to whom. They raise the pigs and when they have a few, they sell the large pigs at the market. And thus earn money. In fact, they are running a farm at the dump! A very creative and smart way to earn more money.

  • A villa for street children

    A villa for street children

    "We went with the mobile school to 'Vila Algarve' in Mozambique. The capital Maputo contains many abandoned houses from the colonial period. These houses are very dilapidated and often surrounded by high walls. Many of these houses are occupied by street children. We first thought that street children living in such houses would be sitting ducks in the case of a police raid. Nothing, however, could be farther from the truth. The houses have full basements and there are even secret passageways. Thus it is possible to flee 'Vila Algarve' to the beach, a few hundred meters further!

    There are brokers who are seriously interested in making 'Vila Algarve' a hotel or an apartment building. The youth who live here, however, will not let that happen. Several police raids have tried to evict them, but the street children return each time.

    Some 40 young people live at 'Vila Algarve'. Most are boys 15 or older (the oldest is 30). Ten girls also live here as does a 1.5 year old boy who was born here. Making photos inside was not allowed; trust was still in an early stage. The situation in which these young people live is extremely difficult to describe. But here is an attempt:

    • The group has created rooms in the building, separated with curtains for a minimum of privacy
    • All the girls work as prostitutes. They also have a friend at 'Vila Algarve'. They accompany the girls while working and thus ensure their safety. The girls earn between € 0.75 and € 1 per customer.
    • The girls do the wash for the entire group
    • It is not clear who the mother and father of the year and a half old boy are. Everyone takes care of him; he appears to belong to all.

    Upon entering the 'Villa', we encounter some 20 young people. Most look very disinterested, a few are clearly already under the influence of tentacao (cheap alcohol) or marihuana.

    The smallest resident, however, is immediately thrilled. We wave together in the mirror, he writes on the blackboard. Gradually the others follow. Hesitatingly in the beginning, eagerly thereafter. They want to learn, especially when they realise they can. Tough twenty year olds stand next to a toddler writing on the board. Great writing talent surfaces. But other educational tools also attracted interest. Zeze fills in the hundred square (learning tool that teaches how to count to 100) and is proud as punch when she succeeds. Some come only to chat and Erik wants to play Uno. He is going to make sure he has a game with him the next time we come!" Rob & Lies from Mobile School