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About Naks

About Naks

Naks Vision

We strive to contribute to a country where every citizen feels proud of their own culture, where all diverse ethnic groups respect and value each other’s cultures, and where everybody can experience their culture in a free and open way.

Naks Mission

NAKS is an organization that promotes social and cultural awareness concerning the sustainable development of the Surinamese people in general, especially of the Afro Surinamese people. The work of NAKS contributes to the cultural consciousness of the Afro-Surinamese people to feel proud to promote their own culture and roots with dignity. NAKS works in partnership with the Surinamese government and national and international social and cultural organizations. NAKS is an innovative, flexible and professional organization that provides outstanding cultural products and services.

NAKS Units

  • Akuba : women’s unit: classes for the production of typical Afro-Surinamese clothing and aimed at awareness-raising and economic empowerment of women
  • Difrenti Siri : performing arts (vocals/dance) for the age group 5 – 13 years;
  • Kaseko Loco: music performing (so-called kaseko, kawina and winti);
  • Kotomisi : senior members of NAKS: recreation and education activities;
  • Kwanzaa : performing arts (vocals/dance/music): typical Afro-Surinamese folk songs (so-called sokopsalm & kawina);
  • Theater : theater: age groups: 8 - 20 years;
  • Trowstu: training classes and performance aimed at coaching and family members during mourning of deceased family members (singineti/trowstu);
  • Wan Rutu-Ala Firi : performing arts (vocals/dance/music) for the age group 18-35 years;

NAKS Committees

  • Creative Industries Committee: initiating and supervising commercial cultural activities
  • Cultural Heritage Documentation Committee: exploitation of the NAKS-EUFRIE Cultural heritage Documentation Center, including the NAKS Commemoration of Icons project and the Cultural Heritage Journal Commission publication of a quarterly bulletin on Afro-Surinamese Cultural Heritage in De Ware Tijd, national daily paper
  • Events Committee: organize larger cultural events
  • Logistics Committee: maintenance and management of NAKS Center
  • Mi Agida Committee: exploitation of the NAKS Mi Agida Afro-Surinamese School of Music
  • Public Education Committee: organization of presentations, discussions, workshops on socio-cultural issues
  • Social Committee: strengthening of the bond between NAKS members, units, working groups, commissions, and executive board
  • Sranantongo Language Promotion Committee.
About NAKS

Foundation Naks Netherlands/ Stichting Naks Nederland

In October 2010, NAKS founded a subsidiary foundation named Stichting NAKS Nederland. The objective of this organization is to support the parent organization in Suriname and to contribute to building awareness about Afro-Surinamese culture in Dutch society.

NAKS Sranantongo (Surinamese lingua franca) conversation course for English speaking people

The course Sranantongo for English speaking people aims at teaching basic conversation skills of Sranantongo to interested parties. Objective: Learn to talk/understand Sranantongo through 10 training sessions Schedule: duration of each session is 2 hours. The duration of the course is 10 – 12 weeks.

The course sessions provide trainees with some knowledge about the history of the language and the customs and habits of Surinamese (culture) through issues like shopping, eating, culture, religion, family, and Surinamese heroes. A minimal knowledge of grammar, and sentence structures are taught during the classes. The focus of the teaching classes is on a basic conversation in Sranantongo, though the facilitator will write correct Sranantongo while teaching. If interested in the writing skills of Sranantongo, one needs to take a separate course.

During each class, an appropriate odo (proverb) is taught, and in some cases, a traditional Surinamese song is presented to the trainees, which facilitates a relaxed teaching atmosphere. Guest teachers may be hired to provide some extra information on the Surinamese culture and language.

The NAKS EUFRIE documentation center for cultural heritage

Operational Objectives

  • To collect, document, and catalog information and materials on Afro-Surinamese tangible and intangible cultural heritage
    • To install and maintain library management software;
    • To employ personnel and volunteers for professional services to the public;
    • To provide training and capacity strengthening to the EUFRIE service providers
  • To provide access to the collected documents and materials
    • Digitally: computer access is the main source for the public to be informed on the Afro-Surinamese cultural heritage;
    • Inter-actively: discussions, presentations, workshops, conferences, expositions, and events, aimed at conscious-raising and/or consciousness strengthening on intangible cultural heritage are considered very important methods and sources for the public to access the documented information;
    • Physically: books, documents, manuscripts, studies, theses, media products, and heritage attributes, are the third most important access sources.
  • To provide training to EU-FRIE service providers
    • To provide personnel and volunteers constantly with training and capacity development In order to provide professional services to the public
  • To develop networks and cooperation, both nationally and internationally

Target groups

EU-FRIE aims at a variety of individuals, groups, and organizations, especially youth and youth groups.

  • Documentation on NAKS and produced, published, or released by NAKS
  • As one of the eldest organizations active in the field of the cultural heritage of Afro-Surinamers
  • Documentation on Afro-Surinamese organizations in Suriname
  • Documentation on Afro-Surinamese Intangible Cultural heritage
    • Traditional Craftmanship
    • Dresses and Jewelry
    • Music, Dance & Theater
    • Literature, languages
    • Culinary
    • Traditional Medicine & Healing
  • Documentation on Slavery
  • Documentation on Afro-Surinamese development (economic, social, political)
  • Documentation on Afro-Surinamese Authors and Artists
  • Documentation on Afro-Surinamese Heroes/Icons (in Suriname and abroad)
  • Documentation on Afro-Surinamers in Diaspora:
    • A. Netherlands.
    • B. Other Countries
  • Documentation of black people in Africa, the USA, Latin America, and the Caribbean and their cultural, economic, political, and social contribution to development.

Executive Board

The most important organs of NAKS are the Executive Committee, the departments, and the advisory board. Several work groups and commissions have been established as advisory bodies for the Executive Committee.

Siegmien Staphorst


Siegmien Power- Staphorst Ontwikkelingswerker

Vice-chairman and treasurer

Lucien Nijman (Staff Member of the Central Bank of Suriname)


Mrs. Gisela Holband-Babel (teacher secondary education)

Assistant Treasurer

Mrs. Mariska Blank- Hew A Kee (retired civil servant, Ministry of Social Affairs)

Committee Member

Mrs. Irene Burgzorg (retired civil servant, Ministry of Social Affairs)

Committee Member

Henny Panka (retired civil servant, Ministry of Social Affairs)

Advisory Board

Advisory Board member

Eric Rudge (jurist, lecturer at the University of Suriname, former chair of NAKS (1994 – 1995)

Advisory Board member

Liesbeth Peroti (music pedagogue, Director of Lisibeti Performing Arts)

Clerical Staff

Office Manager

Joan Kassels

Assistant Office Manager

Gracita Sylvester

All-round clerical staff member

Ferdinand (Pila) Jane

Financial Administrator

Sandra Heinze

NAKS Suriname 2023

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