For the 2006-7 academic year, BAADE students, working with UK charity WithFeeling, were engaged in research and design for a 'walk in centre' allowing Street Children a safe and healthy environment for the day. This centre is not intended to be a home for these children but acts as a base from which to encourage and support re-integration into a broader social welfare system. The approach is not be forceful, but to work on the basis of personal relationship development, trust building and education.
Students from Bart's and London Hospital acted as advisors to the design teams in providing access to medical and psychological research as well as information on educational and treatment programmes that may be supported by the centre.
Building for the Future
The Street Child Project also seeks to integrate this unique programme of collaboration between design and medical fields into the National Strategy for Community Action. This programme, which seeks to bring community action and community involvement, into the Romanian high school and university curriculum. To this end, With Feeling is working develop a larger programme which will allow high school students to take up the model of operation that is being developed through the Street Child Project. It is hoped that, as the Street Child Project moves forward, elements of the project will be opened up to include involvement of Romanian university and high school students.
In this way, the Street Child Project can become a model for future projects across both Romania and Europe.The Street Child Project will make an important impact on the lives of young people. While it is the individual Street Child that lies at the heart of the project, all of the students involved have benefitted. Not only is this a truly unique educational experience, but students have been able to explore how their work, both now and in the future, integrates within a broader social context and to develop life skills for their own and their community's future.
During London Design Week (September 17 - 22, 2007) selected work from the Street Child Project will be exhibited with the kind support of TINO, in its showroom at 206 Great Portland Street . TINO is proud to help bring awareness to the Bucharest Street Child Project. For further information visit TinoStone or Baade.