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The Idea Bureau


The Digitally Connecting Street Children platform enables street children to connect and share their stories, dreams, challenges, insights, and practical tips related to keeping safe on the streets with their peers throughout the world.

Consortium for Street Children (CSC) is a network that partners with governments, NGO’s, policy makers, researchers, charities and businesses to give children living on the streets the right to life, survival and development.

They work with over 130 community organisations across 135 countries, supporting them to grow and gain funding, so they can deliver services to kids directly, and fight for their rights as street children.

The Problem

CSC came to us as their existing content platform didn’t foster engagement with the children they support. It was a ‘proof of concept’ MVP (minimum viable product) that wasn’t exciting for the children to use and didn’t represent their brand very well. Because of its’ limited functionality, it also wasn’t easy to manage for the CSC team, nor was it scalable for the future.

The organisation provides workshops for children on the street that cover a variety of topics – these range from protection from violence, access to basic services, access to justice, gender, equality and their rights. As part of the workshops, the kids are able to access the CSC ‘Digitally Connecting Street Children’ platform in order to build connections with others across the globe.

We’ve had the pleasure of working with the CSC team for a number of years, and were excited to design and build them a secure social media platform – the first of its kind to connect many children who might otherwise feel very alone.

“We engaged The Idea Bureau to build a social networking platform for street children. They’ve exceeded our expectations, creating something that’s well-designed, appealing to children and intuitive to use.”

Monica Thomas
Senior Digital Officer

Our Solution

Our goal for the project was to create a platform that’s easy and intuitive to use, while ensuring it allowed the children to engage with each other safely. Through several rounds of user testing, we can firmly say that we’ve achieved that.

Every new feature and decision we implemented prioritised the children’s safety when using the platform.

As developers, our main priority throughout the project was focused on safeguarding children, ensuring that the platform would be secure for them. Every new feature and decision prioritised their safety.

Consortium for Street Children
Project Type:
Bespoke Platform
App, Social Media, Third Sector

“Navigating the platform is simple and attractive – we found it to be friendly, with good image quality.”


How the platform works

To create the custom platform, we built the web application with a framework called Laravel, which allows us to easily implement new features, as well as enabling the platform to scale as new members are introduced. To make the platform more easily manageable, we used Laravel Nova as an administration panel that would provide a user-friendly interface for the CSC team. Another especially important aspect of the build for us was to ensure all interactions were performed in real time, without page loads – this makes it feel much more like a traditional social network, and therefore more familiar to the children.

Each child can access the platform via their own personal account. When they’re logged in, children can share the outcomes of their workshop as social posts, such as videos, audio snippets and images. They can see other users’ content, and engage via comments or emojis, as well as taking part in quizzes.

Technologies Used


Application Framework

Laravel Nova

Administration Platform


Front-End Framework

Laravel Forge

Hosting Infrastructure

Deployment Infrastructure

Digital Ocean

Hosting Infrastructure


Deployment Infrastructure


Google Translate

Anonymous Accounts

It was clear from our initial kick-off workshops that the children’s accounts needed to be anonymous to maintain their privacy. While they can only access the platform when working with a facilitator at their local drop-in centre, it’s still key that the data they share on the platform isn’t connected to them in any way. This complies with the safeguarding nature of the project.
We wanted to make this constraint fun and engaging by allowing the children to choose a character avatar to act as when they’re logged in – from animals to food – which was a great hit during our user testing sessions. This means any content they react to is done via their avatar, e.g. a pink elephant from Peru.

A unique approach to learning

We created a quiz section that encourages children to learn more about topics relating to their rights and staying safe on the streets.
These quizzes involve a mixture of picture and text-based multiple choice questions where children have unlimited attempts to choose the correct answers before progressing. Along the way, children collect stars and receive a certificate at the end of the quiz that’s personalised to their anonymous character.

As part of future design phases, we’ll also be implementing ‘drag and drop’ questions and introducing sound effects to the platform. Soon, we’ll be adding games to the platform, too!


We’re immensely proud to have created this protected online space for children to build connections. This project is another successful implementation of multilingual user generated content for us; our work is often aimed at other professionals, so it’s been refreshing to design directly for children this time around. The work has been especially rewarding, as it’s allowed kids across the globe to connect with each other, in spite of potential language barriers.

We’ve loved seeing how much they enjoy interacting with the platform, particularly that they like using it to share their stories with their peers. We look forward to continuing our work with CSC to improve this vital platform for the future.

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