'Big Yellow' turns heads as it arrives at Folkestone Museum

Contributed by editor on May 15, 2019 - 12:30 PM

The 'Big Yellow' bus outside the Folkestone Museum  Photo: Julie Ledger


Passers-by did a double take on Saturday afternoon (11 May) when they saw a bright yellow double-decker bus turn into St Eanswythe’s Way and park up at Folkestone Museum.

But this was no ordinary bus!

It has been carefully converted to provide a mobile school for young refugees.

'Big Yellow' has seen service in and around the refugee camps of Northern France, with a sister vehicle called 'Big Blue' working further afield in Greece.


The lower deck has been turned into a social space where children and young people can gather in a safe environment to talk, the top deck is an education space with books and drawing materials.

The top deck of the bus  Photo: Julie Ledger

The visit to Folkestone Museum created a fitting background to a talk given by Jon O’Connor in the Museum’s Education Room as part of the series run by the Friends of Folkestone Museum.

Jon is a Trustee of the School Bus Project, a charity with headquarters in Folkestone.

In his talk, he made the link between the Belgian refugees who had arrived in the town in 1914, and the situation in the Calais Jungle set up in 2014 from which the School Bus Project had emerged.

Jon emphasised how the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights stated that everyone has the right to education. ‘If you can’t go to school, then school can come to you’.

With stories of individual children and young people caught up in the refugee crisis, Jon’s talk engaged his audience and led to much discussion.

After his talk, there was an opportunity to visit the bus, and to see some of the material produced by the Project and by the young people it was helping.

To discover more about the School Bus Project visit www.schoolbusproject.orgg 

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