CENTRO NOS KAZA
Nos Kaza means “Our House” and is a place of refuge for the street children of Santa Maria, Sal, Cabo Verde and the surrounding area. The main goal is to get these children into school and they must agree to this to attend Nos Kaza. The Cape Verdean state provides half a day in school (dividing the older and younger children over the full day) and Nos Kaza helps with providing the basic materials and uniforms required to enable attendance. This also includes personal care, hygiene, behaviour, punctuality and routine so there is usually a noticeable change in the children’s appearance after a short time. The children spend the rest of the day with Nos Kaza and are supported in catching up and understanding their school work. Nos Kaza liaises with the teachers when necessary and provides a suitable place for homework and study, which many children wouldn’t have elsewhere.
Opportunities are provided to play musical instruments, learn sports, dance (including the traditional Capoeira), drama and art which enable children to develop talents and interests that they would not have discovered otherwise. Centro Nos Kaza also arranges work experience for the older children where possible. It also supports the families of the attendees, all of which are under the care of ICCA (Institute for Cabo Verdean Children and Adolescents), the Cabo Verdean equivalent to UK Social Services. The children registered are all aged 6 to 16 but younger ones are also given a safe place to be when it is necessary to do so.
Some children starting at the Centre have health issues from malnutrition and lack of hygiene and care, so basic and emergency medical care is also arranged with the help of local professionals. The children have opportunities to receive dental care, physiotherapy and other services when possible. The new CNK premises have cooking, washing and bathroom facilities. Critically CNK provides an abundance of love, care, and education thanks to Aldir and the dedicated staff .
Centro Nos Kaza started as Projecto Nos Kaza (PNK) and was originally funded by the Spanish Government for 2 years. It was hoped that the project would continue to be funded but unfortunately it wasn’t possible. The project was in danger of closing until two benefactors donated £6000. £5000 in April 2011 and a further £1000 towards the end of that year to help finance the staff wages on the understanding that a long-term solution was sought. CNK-UK was born and PNK changed to CNK.
A registered Cape Verdian charity CNK-UK was set up to support the project via a sponsorship scheme, donations and fundraising both in the UK and other countries as well as on Sal Island. There are a number of local businesses who help support CNK with food donations as well as in a variety of other ways besides money.
Through the sponsorship scheme, CNK-UK continues to pay for the salaries of two classroom assistants. It also provides funds for a simple meal for the children attending both morning and afternoon sessions. CNK cares for 97 children, of which approximately 65 attend on a regular basis and stays open Monday-Friday, including school holidays, with the only exception being Bank Holidays. CNK works in conjunction with local schools in helping to assist in giving a good basic education under very difficult circumstances.
- Integrate children and adolescents into official school system
- Distribute school materials
- Provide aid for school transport
- Offer activities focused on personal development and social skills, education for Citizenship, nature study, Capoeira, English, dance, Christian ethics, and music lessons
- Sporting activities: football, beach volleyball, beach games
- One meal per child daily (breakfast or evening meal)
- Others: After-school support, oral and personal hygiene habits and social conduct
- Children and adolescents identified as being at-risk or socially vulnerable
- Currently the Centre serves approximately 96 children and adolescents of both sexes between the ages of 6 and 15 years old
- Children who have personal and social issues and who are psychologically at risk
- Families of vulnerable or at-risk children
- To achieve our goals CNK-UK has the help of NGO’S, OG’S, volunteers, sponsors and people who want to help!
1. Street approach
2. Activities for free time occupation
3. Programme of social development
4. Medical services
5. Monitoring education
6. Psychological services
7. Services/ICCA programmes
8. Social Services,
9. Emergency Infant & Home Visits
10. Family meetings, parental education
11. Activities for commemorative dates
12. Programme of patrimony Centre/Child and adolescent
13. Voluntary programme
Please take some time to look round the website and see what CNK is all about.
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The primary objective of the project is to serve as a positive influence in the lives of its children by providing them support and alternatives to being in the streets. In relation to this goal, Nos Kaza works to address situations that cause or are results of children spending large amounts of time in the streets. For example: social exclusion, commercial exploitation, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, psychological and sexual abuse, begging, and unhealthy work conditions. In order to prevent these situations, Nos Kaza aims to:
- Guarantee the fundamental rights of children
- Positively influence the lives of children and adolescents in at-risk situations, and reduce their exposure to dangerous situations
- Help at-risk youth officially register for school
- Develop social activities that work with both children and their families
- Identify the children and adolescents in vulnerable situations
- Reinforce relationships and collaboration between working within the field of child services