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History and concept of the Paternoster Partnership

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Start of the commitment by our foundation in 2016
Further development of our work through cooperation

cooperation with universities

The implementation of a program for teaching life skills is only possible with the use of qualified, committed and open-minded volunteers. Therefore, one of the cornerstones of our concept is to place students who are in pedagogical training, have just completed one, or are studying social affairs. Together with the University of Education in Weingarten and the Cooperative State University in Stuttgart , we carefully select young people who not only live our program but also help shape it and thus develop it further. 

Cooperation between fisheries, PPP and foundation

Our program is supported by local cooperation partners such as the fisheries, which is the largest local employer, above all the managing director Jaco van der Westhuisen. Further support comes from the "Paternoster Peoples' Partnership" (PPP) committee, headed by the entrepreneur and part-time social worker Sanita van der Merwe, who has tirelessly implemented a wide range of activities and further training for small groups of children and adults in the past. Your ideas and valuable experiences flow into the conception of the program and are further developed. Together we design the "Paternoster Volunteer Project".

The reading club – symbiosis of local and German volunteers

Reading is the key to education. Education, in turn, is the prerequisite for a future-oriented and successful life. Therefore, the promotion of reading is an important mission of our foundation, which is also consistently implemented in Paternoster. Unfortunately, reading difficulties are one of the basic problems that run through all age groups at St. Augustine's Primary School. And there are some children who finish elementary school without being able to read. Ever since our volunteers moved into Paternoster, English has been read out to them every day. In addition, children who can read are given space and time to read for themselves. With the founding of the reading club "Paternoster Story Hook" the reading offer is completed by Anfrikaans. We were able to recruit local journalist Joan Kruger to run the reading club. She coordinates local and German reading volunteers. Since then, children have been read aloud in small groups and in age-specific Africanans and English.

Volunteer program also for German and South African students

In April 2018, the idea of integrating South African students into the volunteer program became concrete. For this reason, we initiated the "1st Paternoster Project Conference" in order to define possible areas of application for South African students together with the existing cooperation partners, representatives from politics and church and professors from the South African University in Stellenbosch and to consider together which skills the children should be taught to be able to survive in the paternoster in the future.

A year after the start of the program, the first German students from the Stuttgart Cooperative State University travel to Paternoster to begin imparting skills very early in the children's lives. The students will read aloud in the kindergarten and preschool in the morning, the children will be encouraged through play and the teachers will support the afternoon program at the elementary school. For the first time, thanks to these students, there will be swimming lessons for the school children. Because neither the fishermen who go out to sea every day nor the children have yet learned to swim. There is no swimming pool in Paternoster. The sea is too rough, too cold all year round and the weather too changeable for learning to swim. That is why we are looking for sponsors worldwide for the construction of a training swimming pool in Paternoster. Together with the school authorities in Vredenburg, we are looking for a solution as to how the swimming pool 20 km away, which is used by two other schools, could also be used by us temporarily. 


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