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A Mobile Discovery Center Designed to Build Self Confidence in Street Children

Children around the world lack access to formal education. Some live on the street and are forced to work at very young ages. The "Mobile School" brings street workers together with street children as they engage in games that target the discovery of talents and build self confidence.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
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The Mobile School

 Literacy, numeracy, health education, creative therapy and game education are all elements of the mobile school that help confront the child with his/her capacities and increases their self-awareness. 
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Can mobile discovery centers positively impact families in the low income communities we are designing for?  
What other "mobile" tools can we build  that can support parents to learn and gain knowledge about normal child developement?  
Can "mobile" tools bring older children and younger children together, fostering creative learning environments, socialization,  joint discovery?



 

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Photo of clash

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Bettina,

this is indeed a great idea and that makes sense in the context of this challenge - for parents and / or children:

Here are a few other projects in the education realm that I researched for a previous challenge:

An education program (on sanitation) using a mobile van: http://nandiniserviceonwheels.blogspot.com/2011/05/journey-with-meaning.html

The Commonwealth Youth Programme Technology Empowerment Centre on Wheels, or ‘CYPTEC on Wheels,’ in Chadigarh in North India. It is a modified mobile van fitted with several desktop computers, mobile internet, public addressing systems, all powered by a generator.

This project aims to offer computer training to youths in rural areas and help them learn skills which will help them gain future employment. Every month the van travels to a different rural area in Chandigarh where a tutor offers daily computer training to young people: http://www.thecommonwealth.org/news/34580/34581/179689/280508computervan.htm

A van in rural Washington, North Carolina, where a van was used to provide wifi access for classes:
http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/2003/09/60594?currentPage=all

As well as SparkLabs: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jasonchua/sparklab-an-educational-build-mobile

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

HI A-L. Thanks for the comment and the links. I will definitely have a look at them for inspiration. I totally agree that an idea like this has potential as a tool for parents as well as children, and perhaps at the same time - in regards to the focus of this challenge. I posted a comment to this effect yesterday on an IDEA to leverage Playgrounds as Parenting Centers. Check it out. Would love to hear your thoughts!
https://openideo.com/challenge/zero-to-five/ideas/anchor-creating-strong-partnerships-between-parents-teaching-communities-and-children

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Hi Bettina, I've "seen" (but not read yet ) your comment.
Will read and comment. Cheers, al

Photo of Leigh Cullen

Hi Bettina, Meena pointed the Pop Up Bus team your way. We'd love to hear any insights you are gathering re mobile discovery centers.
Cheers,
Leigh

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Hi Leigh! Sorry for the late response. How are things going?
I do not have any big insights other than this project looks amazing. It's purpose is to empower these kids, enabling them to learn something about themselves and their abilities so that they might choose to go to school, leave street life. Sounds like a huge task. Not sure how kids can accomplish that without support so if this helps in some way - wow! I also really admire how the project brings the adults in their world together with the kids and how it allows them to be kids if only for a brief period of time.
Funny I actually found this project while on the Youth Employment Challenge. Someone posted an unusual project out of Amsterdam during the research phase. It was a gaming approach to get youth employed. They gave gifts if youth showed up for interviews which honestly I found odd. Anyway I was intrigued and fishing around I was lead to another project which involved street youth in Amsterdam - employing them. The founder of that project is the person who developed the mobile schools. I did not really think about this in relation to the Pop Up Bus concept until Meena pointed you in this direction. I do think there are things to learn here. The size of this for one thing. It packs a lot into a smallish package. I wonder what you might develop in a small size, something that can occupy a different kind of space in a community - different from a bus. Does anything come to mind for you? Has there been any movement in the Pop Up Bus project recently? Maybe this idea could become an avenue for a small mobile prototype? I wonder if you were able to build something portable like this if it might be something to attract funding for a larger vision?