Our story so far....
Simply a human response.
For the last ten years, the numbers fleeing war zones, economic disaster, hunger and other human tragedies has grown. Many find themselves on a long, hard journey in search of a better life.
The School Bus Project was set up by a core team of educators who believed that learning is a human right for everyone, as we still do today.
It is also a basic right set out under Article 26 of the UN Convention on Human Rights.
Our team has built up a lot of expertise. Teaching, project management, international policy & much more. Some of us got involved in refugee learning provision way back as 1989. Some have got involved more recently.
We have joined up with hundreds of people in our fundraising, training, volunteering and planning work. We have also experienced the joy of learning together with refugee students at all ages and stages.
It is this collective power and energy that helps The School Bus Project do such an amazing job.
So what is it that The School Bus Project actually does?
We provide resources for mobile learning in improvised schools wherever they are needed.
We train volunteers to contribute to learning support and provide advice to other groups.
We lobby in the UK to raise the profile of the agenda for migrants, refugees & displaced people.
We work internationally to highlight solutions that deliver education when it is most needed.
We raise awareness and funding through a network of UK Hubs
We work with partners and with schools and community organisations.
Five Years Old - we're still learning!
Autumn 2015 to Autumn 2016
SBP spent a year developing lesson plans, training and mobile school resources, which were tried and tested in the Calais Jungle!
From Summer 2017
We were asked to return to Northern France by Help Refugees, with a major influx of refugees returning to Calais.
Using our Little Red Minibus (LRB), working in improvised school shelters or on board our Big Yellow Bus (BYB) we were able to provide hundreds of children, young people and adult learners with fun and practical lessons, valuable support and a safe space to 'be'.
Since late 2018
Over the last year we have provided resources, transport, training and other support to help the development of partnership projects in France and Greece, where we are planning new programmes leading into 2020.
At the start of 2019, Refugee Childrens Centres joined the SBP family of projects, bringing additional expertise in learning through play and early years education provision for refugees.
In the second half of 2019, we scaled back our teaching work in Calais and moved out of the Auberge des Migrants warehouse collective:
the situation has changed significantly in terms of numbers and conditions for teaching.
Like many other refugee projects and organisations, our income has fallen considerably, although we have many generous supporters and still get donations of wonderful resources which we put to good use.
2020 and beyond
We will continue to support our friends working with children and young people in France notably the amazing team at Refugee Youth Service.
We are working with partners to support programmes for young children and adult learners running in Northern Greece and on the Greek islands.
We will continue to train volunteer educators, develop new resources, look for new sources of funding, digital tech experts, health & well-being professionals, entrepreneurs and small business owners who can all help to design & sponsor more mobile schools and improvised learning provision alongside SBP.
Our major new venture in 2021 is to promote an idea:
Centres of Refugee Education or CORE
We believe that there is an urgent need for joined up solutions, for an approach which sets the right to education alongside the right to shelter, food and healthcare - for all refugees.
Share our posts, tweet, talk to your families about us. We will continue to need pen pals, mentors and kind hearts as long as there are refugees in this world who we can befriend.
This past year has been especially hard with the global outbreak of Coronavirus, while the increasing awareness of human rights and global responsibility for tackling these issues and the threat of climate change has moved more and more people to become activists.
To all those who have contributed time, energy, love - and hard cash –
we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Keep doing.
From everyone on The School Bus Team
the school bus project journey so far...
the next phase
of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights
Everyone has the right to education.
Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages.
Elementary education shall be compulsory.
Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.