#blijmetmijnkot - International Streetchildrenday

Those who are connected to me on social media (not my blog or alias, but my real identity) will have known that it's a special day today.  Yes it is Easter but on April 12th it is also the International Day of the Streetchildren.

With Mobile School we always try to come up with a campaign to catch attention: we want to draw the attention of the general public to the 150 million streetchildren.   We've slept in the streets before, we've worked on the street, we've chalked a guerilla campaign throughout Ghent etc.

This year it was a challenge to prepare a campaign on Easter. We knew we'd not gather people and that the availability of the volunteers would be limited since we all anticipated to be at an Easter family dinner.  So we came up with an online campaign. We love hashtags (eg #duwmee or #wieisjunieth)

But then there was Corona and everybody's mind is and was on Corona. None of us was at an Easter family dinner unless with the family living under the same roof.  Our idea seemed less relevant.
But then the others came up with #blijmetmetmijnkot.  In contrast with our governments instruction to stay at home (bluntly stated as "blijfinuwkot"), we turned in to be happy with our home. Because 150 million street children don't have a home to stay safely in lockdown. They live and work on the streets and with the current lockdowns they also lose potential income.  Fortunately they are resilient, creative and enterpreneurial, yet the conditions are very harsh for them.

On Thursday we launched our campaign and started posting ourselves in order to avoid the initial threshold for other candidates. We contacted and reached out in our network and mostly to youth organisations so they could spread our demand. We contacted VIP's that we knew.   We sent out press releases. 

While the initial posts online were all by our usual suspects, today we could see a nice increase of posts and some mentiones in the press. Several celebs (actors, tennis players, tv hosts) posted their picture (see all public posts here on instagram) and most national youth organisations have launched the challenge in their multitude of online games and communication lately.  I think we succeeded in spreading the message although I had hoped for slightly a bit more press attention even though we were mentioned by 3 press organisations: eg here.

And now we close off the evening in gratitude...also gratitude to be able to stay at home.


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