The mission of Project Sandbox is to build at least one playground on each of the nine inhabited islands of Cabo Verde.
As of November 2018, CVU has successfully installed a playground on seven of the nine islands: Brava in 2006, Fogo in 2008, São Nicolau in 2012, São Vicente and Santo Antão in 2014, and Maio and Santiago in 2018. The islands of Boa Vista and Sal remain with the goal of being completed in July, 2020.
In January 2020, CVU installed a second playground in Mato Grande, Brava. This playground was donated by the Gomes family to honor Benjamin J. Gomes for his 80th birthday.
The source of funds to accomplish the playground installations are acquired through charitable donation and fundraising. CVU members and community volunteers have traveled to Cabo Verde to complete the installations on all islands, with the exception of Fogo, which was installed by the local Mayor’s office.
Kits for Cabo Verde began in 2004 as a project in the third-grade classroom of Mrs. Judith Foster at Philip R. Smith Elementary School in South Windsor, CT. Mrs. Foster’s students were inspired by hearing from their classmate, Jacinta Lomba, talk about Cabo Verde and the social challenges faced by children who live there. Jacinta is the daughter of CVU co-founder Genie Lomba.
To support CVU, Mrs. Foster and her third grade students organized a collection drive of materials for the children of Cabo Verde. In addition to the kits, the students also collected gently used dolls, stuffed animals, and small toys. These donations were shipped to Cabo Verde along with the playgrounds.
Mrs. Foster had the opportunity to join CVU during a trip to Cabo Verde in 2014 as a volunteer.
The kits include:
Notebooks, pens, pencils, colored pencils, crayons, erasers, pencil sharpeners, scissors, glue sticks and rulers.
A wash cloth, tooth paste, tooth brushes, bandaids, antibiotic ointment, combs, soap, shampoo and conditioner.
Clothing, shoes, toys and stuffed animals are also donated to the children of Cabo Verde.
The vision for Books for Cabo Verde is to provide reading materials for children and young adults in each of the nine inhabited islands of Cabo Verde through the implementation of a library in all elementary schools. While Cabo Verde does have a library system available to its citizens, these libraries are primarily located in major cities, and are not accessible to those living in rural environments due to transportation and economic barriers. In order to reach children, CVU will create libraries in the local schools, beginning with preschools and elementary schools in areas with the greatest need.
CVU plans to launch Books for Cabo Verde in 2020, after the completion of Project SandBox.
If you know a way to support this project, we would love to hear from you. A few of the resources we require include grade school level books and literature written in Portuguese, and preschool level books in Portuguese and English. Additionally, we accept donations of non-electronic educational games, toys, and activities that do not require English proficiency to play.