A second home for Paternoster’s children

When we started our support for the children of Paternoster in October 2016, all activities took place on the premises of St Augustine’s Primary School. A decommissioned cargo container was repaired, painted and equipped with cupboards, bookshelves and cushions for children to relax on during Story Hook time. The cushion covers were produced with love by the Paternoster People’s Partnership. 


However, the number of children participating grew, space for activities at the school was limited and the afternoon program offerings became more diverse.  So, in October 2018, Paternoster Fishery, the biggest employer in Paternoster, provided the Paternoster Project NPC with a venue in the middle of the village which has become the Kids’ House. It’s independent of the school and currently open to all the children of Paternoster – including children who live in the village but attend school elsewhere.


The Kids’ House is equipped with the basics, and at the moment about 80 of the 210 children at St Augustine’s – between the ages of 6 and 13 – are registered in the afternoon program. However, a second toilet and a well-functioning kitchen are urgently needed to serve the children better.


Please click here for a list of the much needed items for the Kids’ House.



Children cannot focus on learning if they are hungry. Many children arrive before school starts in the morning to receive a plate of porridge, funded by government. Unfortunately, this is often the only meal they have in the day, so providing a warm lunch at the Kids’ House after school has become an important offering for many children. The Kids’ House has adequate space for cooking, but the kitchen is still to be fitted and equipped. We also need to recruit four or five community grandmothers to assist with cooking for the children during the school week. This will give the house the atmosphere of a real home for the children.

Afternoon programme

The afternoon programme starts immediately after school ends at 1pm. Children from Grade 1 to Grade 7 are welcome to attend after registering for each new school term. Our volunteers meet Grade 1 and 2 children at the school gate and accompany them to the Kids’ House. The older children walk the short distance to the house on their own. Since school ends at different times on different days, children are kept busy playing games until everyone has arrived at the Kids’ House. When everyone has finished enjoying their warm lunch, the children join the various workshops for which they registered. 

Please find more information under Our projects.

Life Skill Programme video:


Holiday programme

Most of the school children remain in the village during the school holidays. However, too many of them are tempted by alcohol or drugs or try to generate money by selling shell hearts on the streets. To combat this, the Paternoster Project NPC offers a child-oriented, one-week holiday program at the beginning of January, and also during the school holidays in April and October. A two-week programme (from 10am to 1pm) is offered during the winter school holidays of June and July. Activities include crafts such as cutting shells, sport, movies and day excursions. During the 2018 winter school holidays, excursions included a visit to Cape Columbine lighthouse and the ZEITZ Mocca in Cape Town. For 2019, the day excursion will be to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, and is again sponsored by Prof Arnold van Zyl, President of the Cooperative Estate University in Germany.


Homework session / Study time

In the past, a homework session formed part of the afternoon programme. This will again be implemented in the new school term starting in January 2019. However, for this to be run effectively we need assistance from local people who can help with the individual needs of children in Afrikaans. Participation in the study time, offered during exams, is optional.