“To equip the youth of Paternoster for the future and to maintain the local heritage”.
The Paternoster Project NPC is a non-profit organization founded in 2016. It’s premises are located at the heart of Paternoster, where the volunteers are at home during their stay in this fishing village on the West Coast of South Africa.
The foundation is tasked with showing children in underprivileged regions, such as Paternoster, how to rise above their social and economic circumstances and live fulfilling lives. Our aim is to provide the children with a sound foundation for development, which will enable them to live and work successfully and sustainably in Paternoster – or wherever else they choose. Key to this a solid, broad-based education, while considering and respecting the local heritage.
The story of the Paternoster Project NPC
It all started many years ago when Christian Neuber owned a small wine farm in Stellenbosch. The Neubers returned to Germany where Christian became the very successful publisher of children’s magazines, but they never lost their love for South Africa.
When Christian sold his publishing company he established a foundation to promote literacy among the youth. This was his way of giving back to the children who had contributed so significantly to his success as a publisher.
In 2016, the children of Paternoster, through the Paternoster Project NPC, became the beneficiaries of this philanthropic vision.
Two years earlier, on a visit to old friends, Christian and his wife, Katrin, first chanced upon Paternoster and immediately lost their hearts to it. They also saw the children's need for support, due to the precarious state of the small-scale fishing industry. On the other hand, Paternoster had great potential and energy and the local people were keen to cooperate - all vital prerequisites for a successful project, as the Paternoster Project NPC has subsequently proved.
The Board members
I was walking the Camino de Santiago through Spain when a telephone call changed my life. A good friend called to tell me that Christian Neuber was looking for on-site support for the Paternoster Project NPC.
Meeting Christian in Stuttgart clinched it. I was on my way to Paternoster.
In 2018, before walking the Camino, I had already decided to embark on a new life. On August 4 that life started in Paternoster.
A short stint as volunteer has turned into a passionate long-term commitment to the Project. I am able to draw on my diploma in exhibition and congress management from the Duale Hochschule in Ravensburg, as well as on 20 years of work experience, first in the family business, later in running my own company. My training in carpentry comes in very handy too.
It’s a long road that has taken me from where I was born, in Kranenburg in Germany. The Paternoster Project NPC, Paternoster itself, and the people working on the Project all combine to make me stay.
To be continued ...
Maike Reinhardt’s resolute drive and boundless energy served her well when, working side by side with Christian Neuber, she started building up the Paternoster Project NPC slightly over two years ago. Based in Stuttgart, Maike brings long-standing experience in an international company to her work as project manager for the foundation ‘Kinder fördern – Zukunft stiften’. As part of her duties for the foundation she coordinates the recruitment of volunteers in Germany and oversees the Paternoster Project NPC. Maike is also responsible for the conception and organisation of the annual Paternoster Project Conference. Brimming over with ideas to develop the project, Maike is committed to partnering with the local community and to encouraging volunteerism. From the word go she felt an instinctive connection with the people of Paternoster and appreciates the deep bond the community has with their village. Maike strongly believes that the people of Paternoster can create a future for themselves while maintaining the character and heritage of the fishing village.
Born in Hoopstad in the Free State, André has lived in Paternoster for over 30 years. He worked first as a fisherman and skipper for many years and is deeply respected by the Paternoster community. In 2003 he started Anker Builders, which is a highly reputable family business – and the only one of its kind based in Paternoster. Anker Builders built the already iconic Volunteer House located at the heart of the village. Long renowned for his philanthropy, André and was last year honoured by the community for his generosity. In the prestigious 2018 Community Awards, he received first prize in the category ‘Bridging the Gap between Divided Communities’, for his ongoing dedication to the community of Paternoster. His firm belief and mantra is that: “Nothing about Paternoster without Paternoster, is for Paternoster.”
Member of honor
For Christian Neuber life revolves around children. He founded a very successful publishing in children's books and magazines and is now paying it forward by investing in the future of children, both at home in Germany as well as in Paternoster, the fishing village in South Africa, which has become his second home. His belief in the transformational power of a sound education led to the establishment in 2009 of the foundation 'Kinder fördern – Zukunft stiften’. Based in Stuttgart, the foundation has the promotion of reading skills as one of its main aims. This was turned into a boon for the children of Paternoster when Christian, who once owned a wine farm near Stellenbosch, lost his heart to the little fishing village and founded the Paternoster Project NPC in 2016. The project has quickly grown in scope and stature, and in 2018 the Saldanha Bay Municipality honored Christian with their annual Community Award in recognition of his “exceptional” contribution to education.
The Project members
Dr Joan Kruger
It was an abiding love for words that led to Joan’s career in magazines and publishing, a PhD in linguistics and, now, Story Hook. A South African, born and bred, she’s fascinated by history as well as by current affairs. In the more distant past she did a stint on newspapers (as a journalist and columnist) and edited women’s magazines before switching to custom publishing. As a founding director of Tip Africa Publishing, she is still very involved in various publishing projects and in writing books on historical topics. She has, among others, written the 'biography' of Table Mountain - going back all of 500 years. However, Story Hook and the children of Paternoster are keeping her firmly rooted in the present.
EDITOR - Paternoster Project Newsletter
A Paternoster resident for over 10 years, Keri is a wordsmith afflicted by wanderlust. As an award-winning travel and lifestyle writer and magazine editor, she is also the author of nine coffee table and guide books, writes blogs and websites - and does travel radio programmes in between. Keri is passionate about Paternoster and empowering the local community for a brighter future that is self-sustainable.