RepairKid: Destroying the limitations of creating
RepairKid, is a Dutch organization whose mission is to teach children the value of recycling and creating with their hands.
RepairKid is a camper turned traveling bus that sparks the curiosity of playful children, eager to learn how device components work together, how to safely demolish, rebuild, and create art from broken items that may usually be tossed out.
At RepairKid, “solution-oriented thinking and creativity are encouraged to the fullest, combined with a fresh perspective on prosperity and what can be achieved with it, in art and otherwise.” The concept could have been inspired by repair cafes, locations around the world where patrons bring their damaged goods where volunteers will happily fix their products.
The after-school friendly program (which can also work well as part of a regular curriculum) is low in cost, high in reward. Cis, the creator of RepairKid felt children needed a supportive atmosphere where kids could become excited playing with spare parts and reusing materials.
Along the community and her circle of family and friends, Cis is known for having a passion for reusing and repurposing almost any object. One year, she decided to volunteer at RepairCafe, and noticed one demographic wasn’t included in the initiative, children. Wanting to spread the joy of learned resourcefulness, she created a pitch for a RepairCafé, especially for kids. After winning the contest, she used the prize money to purchase a caravan where she could travel to various locations, teaching kids how to experiment and tinker with safe materials.
Auntie, one of the previous caravans, spent 38 years as a mechanism for kids to show their ingenuity and craftsmanship. Recently, RepairKid added another caravan to the mix, Aunt II, thanks to the generous organization supporters and Rabobank Stimulation Fund donors. The ‘everything is art’ mentality is also available to adults who’d like to get into the demolishing action and release their inner artist.
Cis explained that the purpose of RepairKid isn't just about recycling.
“What it's really about here, is what happens on the mat. There's a vibe where you get the feeling that - as a kid - everything is allowed and everything is possible. That you can sit here and feel; 'I'm allowed to make a mess. My hands can get dirty, I can sit on the ground, I can try different stuff. And I don't even have to clean anything.' Kids need that. It's so easy to do this at home. Even if you try to make something else out of a fork! What matters is that vibe, that atmosphere, where you really feel that there's more possible than you thought," she added.