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"You never walk alone..."

History and concept of the Paternoster Partnership

Paternoster - a place with an uncertain future

The history of the fishing village of Paternoster has been shaped by...


About half of the children in Paternoster only grow up with their mother. Some mothers became pregnant too early and try to solve everyday problems with drugs and alcohol. As a result, many children are born with FA syndrome (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome). All children come together at St. Augustine's Primary School, whether completely healthy, HIV-positive, with behavioral disorders or learning disabilities. Even if the children do not meet the performance requirements, they are transferred to the next grade level. This results in performance-heterogeneous classes in which teaching and learning is made more difficult. The teachers are struggling on the one hand with discipline problems and on the other hand with math and reading weaknesses and even illiteracy. Parental support is not to be expected. Earning a living is the priority. The children spend most of their time on the streets. They often deal to secure the family income. 

The children in Paternoster dream of becoming fishermen, just like their great-grandfathers, grandfathers and fathers. But fishing quotas are shrinking on South Africa's west coast, and so are the opportunities for children to follow in their ancestors' footsteps. What should the children dream of now?

Since October 2016 we have been gradually implementing an afternoon program aimed at the 200 6 to 13 year olds at St. Augustine's Primary School. On the one hand, our goal is to look after as many children as necessary in the afternoon. On the other hand, we want to create an offer that, in addition to the obligatory homework supervision, offers content that conveys age-appropriate life skills and abilities. In small working groups, the children learn, among other things, how to play chess, create a school magazine or program Lego robots.

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