Schoolbox Project: creating innovative spaces out of Little Things
On the outside, the Schoolbox Project is an infrastructure that can be made of anything from shipping containers, school busses, abandoned buildings, tents, bamboo structures – into classrooms.
On the inside, it’s a mobile, solar-powered child-friendly space to be used as a classroom or a safe place for children to reflect and play.
From little things, big things grow – that’s the philosophy of the Little Things project, which allows HOST to provide small grants of $5,000 to grass-roots projects that make lives better for refugees around the world.
As a recipient of the Little Things grant, the Schoolbox Project works in the Kutupalong Refugee Camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, which is inhabited mostly by Rohingya Muslims that have fled from persecution in neighbouring Myanmar. It is one of two government-run camps in Cox’s Bazar.
“The program is going so well. The children in our school are long term residents of the camp and so we have truly been able to watch their progress and develop strong relationships with them and their families,” says Belle Sweeney, Founder & Executive Director of Schoolbox Project.
They have since completed the bamboo structure for the classroom and purchased supplies for the school. They have also recruited and trained two permanent local teachers, who are still currently working with the school.
Nearly a million Rohingya refugees have fled Myanmar into Bangladesh since August 2017, when the Myanmar military began new military operations against them. The flood of Rohingyas from Myanmar is being called “the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world”.
The Schoolbox operates out of a simple bamboo structure in Block N of Kutupalong and serves about 150 children ranging in age from 6-18.
For more information on the Schoolbox Project, please visit their website at www.schoolboxproject.org/.