"MobileKids makes our tandems safer"

In an interview with MobileKids, Andrea Klein from the KinderHelden ("Heroes for Children") organisation talks about the importance of the mentoring programme and what MobileKids has to do with it.

What is KinderHelden's mission?

KinderHelden is an independent, non-profit organisation funded by donations. The issue of educational equality is close to our hearts. Countless studies show that children's education is still heavily dependent on the parental home. Children with difficult starting conditions in particular – those who have not been in Germany for very long, have many siblings or come from families that are not quite as wealthy, for example – often have a much harder time than their classmates. We therefore bring volunteers together with primary school children in a one-to-one mentoring programme – in what we call "tandems". The mentors support them in their learning and leisure activities so that they can realise their potential.


Why should you get involved as a mentor with KinderHelden?

On the one hand, of course, because it makes sense and is proven to be effective in supporting children with difficult starting conditions. On the other hand, helping children to achieve their goals is immensely rewarding in itself. Almost all of our mentors tell us that their involvement gives them back so much and that they really enjoy their time with the children. Two hours once a week is not a big investment, yet this type of support allows you to give so much back and have a positive impact on a child's future.


How do you become a mentor?

If you'd like to get involved with KinderHelden, you can easily register via our website. Prospective mentors are then invited to an initial meeting via video call. Here, they can ask any questions they may have and tell us where and how they would like to offer support, but also what their interests are. In this way, we can subsequently match them with the right child. The on-boarding process takes place digitally via our KinderHelden Campus. We require a police clearance certificate before the first meeting can take place. As no previous experience in education is required, the volunteers attend an online workshop to prepare them for their "tandem". 


What exactly is the KinderHelden Campus?

The Campus is a digital, data protection-compliant learning environment that enables mentors and children to get together online wherever they may be. It offers qualification and further training measures for volunteers and has already won the Comenius EduMedia Award for its educational quality in the past. The Campus is currently used by around 2,200 people, a good 1,000 of whom are mentors.


MobileKids has also recently appeared on the Campus with its own cycling learning unit. How did this collaboration come about?

The collaboration came about through the initiative of a Mercedes-Benz employee who is also a mentor. He established the link between KinderHelden and MobileKids to bring road safety content to the Campus. We are delighted that it has now worked out. We think it's marvellous that MobileKids is supporting us in the fight for better educational equality and making our tandems safer.


Why is MobileKids content about bicycles, of all things, so important for children?

Cycling is a very popular leisure activity for our tandems. Mentors and children love to go on bike rides together. However, safe cycling needs to be learned. The child-friendly MobileKids content complements road safety education lessons and enables children to be safer on the road. The interactive materials teach important rules in a playful way. We think that's great and very enriching.