Catholic Action for Street children (CAS)
P.O. BOX MD 709
Contact person: Bro. Jos van Dinther
- Aid organization
- Educational policy/project
- Social policy/disabled persons
Catholic Action for Street children (CAS) is a Ghanaian non-governmental organization, which helps street children, who live in the streets of Accra, Ashaiman and Tema metropolis. CAS was founded in 1993. Street Children are children who live in the street, without regular support from family or relatives but who try to take care of themselves. CAS has chosen to work with these children, aged between 0-18, who live and work on the streets during the day and sleep on the streets at night. They mostly sleep on the ground in the open air, on a thin mat or on cardboard. Children often sleep together in groups to protect and look out for each other. Every day the fieldworkers of CAS visit the streets to make contact with the street children, where they work and sleep. CAS sees an important part of its work on the streets. The fieldworkers befriend the street children. They give advice and information about the various possibilities CAS offers. They invite the children to the Refuge and some children will accept the offer.
CAS runs a House of Refuge. Very importantly, the Refuge is a place where they can receive advice about their life and future. Only children below 18 years are welcome at the Refuge. It is strict about this, so it can protect and encourage the smaller and younger children. CAS does not provide food or accommodation at the refuge, because offering this to the street children is not a solution to their problems. There would be too many mouths to feed anyway. CAS does not want street children to become dependant on the organisation. CAS believes, that by giving the street children the possibility of being educated and acquiring skills, they can better provide for themselves in the future.
Classes are held every day in the Refuge classroom. The response to the education programme has been very encouraging. On average between 20 and 40 children attend classes daily. Different subjects, with varying levels of difficulty are taught, from reading and writing to mathematics, English and social skills. Children also learn drama and music. Staff also takes them out to places of interest.
The organization undertook research to identify the most pressing educational needs of the children and the best ways to teach and interest them with the limited facilities available.
CAS owns a farm, known as Hopeland Training Centre, in Ashaiman, which is not too far from Accra. Children stay at Hopeland for a period of six months before they will go on sponsorship. They either go to a school or a workshop to learn a trade. At Hopeland street-children can be better prepared for their future training program. At Hopeland children are introduced to various trades to help them to make up their mind of what to learn for the future. The sponsorship period is three years.
Bro. Jos van Dinther is the director the Catholic Action for Street children.
For other net participants we can offer an expert guidance through trained staff, give an expert opinion, procure expert information and establish new contacts in the field of our work.