Three Phase Approach
Using a three-part model, MindLeaps prepares street children to re-integrate and succeed in the formal education system while gaining valuable job skills through vocational training.
Dance is used as an entry point to the development of a street child’s mind. Kids come off the streets and into our center to attend a “fun dance class”, but in reality, this is a carefully crafted curriculum focused on developing 11 mental skills – ranging from concentration to retention and recall of information. This training “catches up” the street children to a normal level of cognitive development while shaping their behavioral transformation from aggression and survival to optimism and discipline.
As the street children start to develop an understanding of a structured learning environment, they move into phase two: “vocational training”. In Rwanda, this is the Computer Education & Job Training Program for Street Youth. Some of the children we serve leverage these skills to obtain jobs and exit street life. In Guinea, this is English language, a skill that can help youth work as guides, assistants and translators in their communities. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, this is an ongoing dialogue on social and ethnic reconciliation.
In phase three, MindLeaps identifies the children that have continued to thrive in this more traditional academic setting (the IT Room). These youth receive multi-year sponsorship to attend boarding school in their own country. Children who make it to school essentially break the poverty cycle because they receive the basic skills to become self-sufficient through their education. Other students who have excelled in Phase II are tapped for work-study positions in English or IT.