Minor-Ndako offers specialized care and help for children, youngsters and their context in problematic situations. We focus on children from all over the world, in particular the most vulnerable among them. Participation and inclusion in society are the cornerstones of our approach. We provide qualitative aid and offer children and youngsters a warm home that gives them energy and power to go on with their lives. With persistent engagement we aim at finding a durable solution for each of them.
Minor-Ndako has been recognized by The Flemish Government within the framework of Integrale Jeugdhulp (Integrated Youth Care).
Minor-Ndako was established in 2002 as a centre for unaccompanied foreign minors. The name is derived from the Latin word for a child under the age of 18, a minor, while ndako is the word for home in Lingala, one of the language spoken in the Republic of the Congo. The name reflects what we stand for: beside care for minors, we aim at different cultures living together in harmony.
The centre in Anderlecht has expanded gradually starting as a centre for 15 and later 20 youngsters. The extra places were meant to prepare +16 year olds for self sufficiency. A department that offers guidance and aid to youngsters in the first few month that they live on their own, was the next logical step.
Soon afterwards we were asked to use our expertise with different cultures in a formula for children in Brussels. The new residential group Benjamin provides shelter for Flemish children between 0 and 12 years old and provides aid and guidance to their families. Soon after we created a second residential group, Koala, for children of the same age. Jacana was created to offers aid and guidance to children and their families at home, they were later joined by Columbus another service aimed at helping families.
Juna, then called ’t Huis, was established in Aalst in 1999 as the first centre for accommodation and care for unaccompanied foreign minors recognized by Bijzondere Jeugdzorg. (Specialized Youth Care).’t Huis met the urgent need for small scale accommodation in a professional context while offering high-quality care. From the start Juna gave priority to underage victims of human trafficking.
In 2006 the name ’t Huis was changed into Juna (Esperanto for ‘young’). Since then the structure has remained the same: two residential groups, Primo and Secondo, studio-training to prepare 16 and 17 year olds for self-sufficient living. And finally a project of assisted self-supported living for the eldest.
The increasing scaling-up in the sector of childcare (Bijzondere Jeugdzorg) led to a merger of Minor-Ndako and Juna in 2012.
In the beginning of 2016, due to the growing refugee crisis, Minor-Ndako once again expanded rapidly. We started a project for foster care for unaccompanied minors, hired two extra people for registration, a department for assisted living for youngsters who live on their own in Ghent. Finally we set up a new residential group for young unaccompanied refugees, between 8 and 13 years old, in Dilbeek.
We have several projects as well. In 2014 we started ‘Minor-Ndako sport’, we now have a running club, an indoor football team and a cricket team for our youngsters. The project of ‘support figures’ (steunfiguren) started in 2013 and has been further developed since. For the youngest (-12) unaccompanied minors we now work with foster care so they can be placed with families instead of in reception centres. In cooperation wit Mentor-Escale we operate a helpdesk for professionals, Manorea.
We have 189 places right now, in 2017 we helped 314 youngsters, kids and their families.