What We Do
The Magic Bus Curriculum
The foundations of the Magic Bus Curriculum are based on a simple, universal, fact:
that children and young people love to play.
What we do in our special Magic Bus sessions is harness each child’s love of play to teach important life lessons that will, in both the long and short term, help them move out of poverty.
How we do that is pretty simple. Each session involves some sort of physical activity, a sport or a game, one that we’ve created or adapted to include a lesson that the participants can take away and use in real life. These important life lessons cover everything from the importance of going to school, treating children of the opposite gender with respect, or how to stay healthy.
Here’s an example:
Our session is all about encouraging children to ask for help when they need it, and to encourage them to help others.
The children are introduced to our game: “Mother Goes To Market”. For this game, two teams of participants must put on some baggy clothes, race across to a chair with a big bottle of water on it, take a drink of water and then race back to their teammates. There, they must take off the baggy clothes and pass them onto a teammate where the process starts again. The game ends when every member of one of the teams has completed the course.
For our session, this game has two rounds. In the first round, the teams are not allowed to help their teammates in any way. In the second round, teammates must help each other as much as possible.
Once each round is complete, the participants come together to discuss their experiences. What was it like when you didn’t receive help? Was it easier when you did? They are then encouraged to think about these experiences with real world examples, to show them how important it is to ask for help, or when to give it, when it’s needed.
Over a 2-hour session, where lots of different games are played with the same message, the participants will come away more likely to help others and with a confidence boost, knowing that they can always ask for help if they need it.
One of the things that makes the Magic Bus Curriculum really unique is its adaptability. Thanks to its simplicity, a Magic Bus session can be held anywhere, with almost any age group, with lots of equipment or none. We can work anywhere, which ensures that our programme is both wide reaching and sustainable.
What makes Magic Bus truly special is our 8000 Community Youth Volunteers (CYLs). The CYLs are young people who have taken on the responsibility of running the Magic Bus sessions within their communities. Not only that, the CYLs are Mentors and Role Models for the children that attend our sessions. They are there to listen, help, advise and guide the children and young people within their communities and are working tirelessly to make their communities better for everyone.
Many of our CYLs attended Magic Bus sessions themselves when they were younger, proof of what the right kind of support can achieve.
The Magic Bus Livelihood Programme
In addition to the main Magic Bus Programme, we provide the Magic Bus Livelihood Programme, designed to work with young people to help them make the leap into work. Using the same activity-based learning as the main programme, the Livelihood Programme is designed to teach important employability and leadership skills, and the resilience necessary to overcome life’s challenges.
What makes our Livelihood Programme different is the focus on the individual. We give them the support necessary for them to achieve their goals, whether that’s attending higher education, starting their own business, or working for a company.
Most importantly we ensure that the participant’s future is sustainable and will allow them not only to survive but prosper.
One of the best measures of our impact is school attendance, as the best way of ensuring a child can escape poverty is by ensuring they receive an education.
While school enrolment in India is high, actual rates of attendance are relatively low. Magic Bus is tackling this problem head on, and the impact is clear.
School Attendance - Indian National Average
School Attendance - Magic Bus Participants
Despite government efforts to prevent it, child marriage continues to plague many communities in India. Forced into marriage against their will, many girls are trapped in abusive relationships and are unable to pursue their dreams.
Gender equality and the eradication of child marriage are two of Magic Bus key principles and we’ve made enormous strides. By empowering girls and young women to stand up for themselves and seek their own futures, Magic Bus is ensuring fewer and fewer girls become trapped in the nightmare of child marriage.
Girls Married Before the Age of 18 in India
Girls Married Before the Age of 18 on the Magic Bus Programme
Nationally, only 19% of young people have salaried jobs in India.
In 2017 alone, Magic Bus has helped over 5,000 young people get into sustainable employment or higher education.