By Heléne Meissenheimer; published in Weslander Community News.
The hard work being done to help Paternoster’s children touched German Minister Theresia Bauer.
“Children shouldn’t have to be confronted with the struggles of hunger, neglect or war. A child should always have the freedom to dream, to dream of becoming an explorer, or an astronaut, a firefighter or even a queen!” said Bauer.
The German Minister of Research, Science and Art, with a delegation, visited the fishing village on Sunday. They came to see the work done by German students volunteering at St Augustine’s Primary School, and also visited the creche and did a walked thought the town.
“You can’t experience Paternoster from a bus,” explained André Kleynhans, long time resident.
They also visited the construction site where a house for students volunteering at the school is being built. The house will have nine bedrooms, with nine bathrooms, a meeting hall and coffee shop.
An investment of R6 million in this house has been made by Christian Neuber, German publisher of children's books and founder of the student outreach program to Paternoster. Neuber says it is a policy to involve all local organisations to ensure public buy-in.
Since last year, students from two German universities have spent between three to six months volunteering with schoolchildren and from next year Stellenbosch University students will also play their part.
Bauer also announced her government had donated furniture for an entire class at the school.
She thanked the Paternoster People’s Partnership, Paternoster Groep Visserye, the mayor and the community for their support for the program. “You all do great work by coming together for the children of Paternoster,” the minister pointed out.