Volunteer project

Strolling through Paternoster, the student volunteers are easily recognizable in their orange jackets and T-shirts. Otherwise you may hear children calling for them from across the street: “Hello teacher Jana!”.


While volunteer work continues through the year, every quarter a new team of eight student volunteers from the universities of Baden-Württemberg, Germany and Stellenbosch, South Africa, arrive in Paternoster to give their time to the children of the village. These student volunteers are either halfway through their studies or have already completed their degrees. All are studying education in order to work as primary school teachers. They also study social science and specialize in early childhood development or mobile youth work, or they study sports science with the focus on sports coaching or child kinetics.


One of the volunteer team members is a long-term volunteer, who stays a full year in Paternoster and coordinates the teams which change every three months. The selection process to find the best-suited volunteer students to work in Paternoster is thorough and lengthy to ensure a win-win.


If you would like to apply to be a student volunteer and work in Paternoster, please email: Maike Reinhardt.

The Volunteers (January to March 2020)



Bachelor of Social Science


Social education worker
- children and youth work


Bachelor in Special Needs Education


Student teacher


Social education worker


Bachelor in Special Needs Education


Student teacher


Junior volunteer


Junior volunteer


Junior volunteer

Story Hook

Thursdays are a hit at St Augustine’s. In the afternoon around 60 children gather at the school to read books and listen to stories – that’s more than a quarter of the entire school devouring books. “Reading is at the heart of the Paternoster Project NPC, and with the Story Hook initiative we can already see how books are expanding the minds of our town’s young readers. The Story Hook children are becoming more confident in reading aloud, are keen to choose interesting books from our growing library and are happy to sit and listen to stories in both English and Afrikaans,” says local volunteer Joan Kruger.


Paternoster’s children have also had a story book specially written for them and published by the umbrella foundation that administers the Paternoster Project NPC. Gemeinsam/Together/Saam, written in German, English and Afrikaans is endlessly popular and formed the start of a small library, which is now populated with classical books, fairy tales, and contemporary stories set in Africa.


For further information or to make a contribution, please email: Joan Kruger.

Paternoster Garden

This idea arose when we noticed that children bring chips and sweets for breakfast at both the Créche and the primary school. Healthy nutrition is not part of their lives at home, but it’s not really surprising, since many families still live off an income from fishing. However,  the fishing season is limited and the fishing quotas decrease every year, meaning there is less money for food.


On the grounds of our new Kids’ House, we have space to establish a food garden. A group of children has already started to work the dry, hard ground and a few herbs have been planted. This will be expanded with donations that were a part of the holiday program of 1 500 children in Stuttgart, Germany. The Paternoster Garden in Paternoster will be established and maintained with the village children, under the leadership and supervision of local volunteers who understand water-wise gardening.  


From January 2019, the Paternoster Garden will be included in the afternoon program activities. Children will not just plant the garden, but will be involved in the entire process from planning the garden to buying plants, tending and harvesting them. Surplus fresh produce will also be sold at the community shop to offset costs, and cooking classes for children may also be held in the Kids’ House. Not only will children learn about food production but also botany, and even business. For further information or to contribute please email us.


Junior volunteer


Junior volunteer


Junior volunteer

Life- and Social- skills

Reading in Afrikaans and English is the main focus of our offering to children. Since the afternoon programme is hosted in English, a great improvement in the children’s English has already been over the past two years.  During the afternoon, many other activities are also offered, depending on the knowledge and qualifications of the host volunteers. Hence, some of the activities are offered for three months, while others are long term.


Examples of activities include:

1.    Sports: soccer, breakdancing, freestyle, rope skipping, fitness

2.    Art: crafts, painting, wool and fun, build it

3.    Music and dance: Zumba, singing lessons

4.    Languages: German

5.    Technical:  Lego

6.    Chess

7.    Board games, yoga, publishing of a children’s newspaper.


Furthermore, it is planned to offer more activities which give children the opportunity to learn about different professions. While swimming lessons are essential, funding is needed for this to become a reality.

For more information or to make a contribution please email us.

© 2020


Paternoster Project NPC
1 Seeduiker Street

Western Cape
South Africa