Empower street kids

A street child is often labelled 'a homeless child, suffering from hunger and forced to sleep in a cardboard box on the sidewalk'. Many misconceptions about the problems of street children are due to oversimplification. These are fed by a lack of insight into the psychological-educational profile of the street child.

Asian children at the mobile school  African children at the mobile school

Mobile School works with all children and youth for whom the street has become an important environment for living and learning. The street culture has a strong influence on their development. This group of youth comprises several profiles, including:

  • Children who opt for the street as a better alternative to a life of socio-economic poverty that often includes violence and abuse within the family
  • Children who are forced to work on the street by parents or by exploitative networks
  • Children who voluntarily work on the street to support their parents in the economic struggle for survival
  • Orphans and children who are rejected due to HIV, witchcraft stigmas...
  • Loiterers who, in the absence of a warm nest and positive processes at school, opt for a life of truancy and growing up in street subcultures

Mobile School's outreach strategy is based on stimulating a child's emancipation. It targets the child's strengths, talents and possibilities, and encourages the child to trust in his or her unique skills. Thus children become the central actors in their own lives.

Traditional outreach work focuses on the problems of the child. Mobile School turns this on its head: we look for the positive in a child: 'What are you good in? What are you proud of?' We aim to allow the child to reflect and communicate more openly about his or her situation. By doing this consciously, the child can more easily form a better self-image and gain a better understanding of the environment, possibilities and identity. Such self-consciousness allows the child to make well informed choices concerning the future.

As unconditional support and with the help of a positive and constructive approach, the street worker contributes to creating a safe and trusted environment. One in which the child feels comfortable and explores the options that facilitate self-development.