The programme offers various projects for German and local volunteers to engage in education and social work in Paternoster, South Africa. Partnering with universities in Baden-Württemberg, the German foundation, Kinder Fördern–Zukunft Stiften, sends teams of students who stay for 3 to 6 months, working with the village community. Over 120 volunteers have participated so far, gaining valuable experiences while contributing to the social aspects of the children in the area.
To apply as a student volunteer, contact Maike Reinhardt at email@example.com.
Life and Social Skills
Hoopsig runs afternoon workshops including ballet, crafts, sewing, baking and dancing, with special wellness sessions for girls aged 7-13. Workshops are changed based on children's interests and volunteers' expertise, while successful workshops continue and are documented for future use. Hoopsig has partnered with three organizations for its life skills project and uses both Afrikaans and English in communications and reading materials to improve conversational English skills.
Story Hook is a project that started in 2016, providing quality children's books. Thursday afternoons are dedicated to reading and listening to stories, and Paternoster’s children also have a storybook written for them in German, English, and Afrikaans. The library has a unique selection of classical, fairy tales, and contemporary African stories.
“Reading is at the heart of the Paternoster Project, 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 one of the founders of Story Hook and volunteer, Joan Kruger.
Hoopsig has also entered into three partnerships with like-minded organizations to strengthen its life skills utilising external resources to deepen its delivery and range of services.
The project, which began as a short workshop by a previous volunteer, has now evolved into a full-fledged program. The children show a great love for sports, particularly grappling, and the program is affiliated with the Langebaan Rio Grappling Club. A coach conducts weekly coaching for nearly two dozen children, and the club provides opportunities for participants to compete based on their level and age.
Youth Empowerment Project (YEP)
The Open Youth Outreach visits the community between 09:00-12:00 at least twice a week to interact with school-age children who are not attending school. For younger children, the focus is on educational activities like reading and drawing, while older children engage in sports such as soccer and touch rugby. The aim is to understand the reasons for their absence and encourage them to re-enter the school system, with volunteer notes being shared with a social worker from DSD who visits the programme regularly.
WCED YearBeyond Programme
The YearBeyond programme, a collaboration between the WCED, HTA, and Paternoster Project NPC, aims to assist and monitor young people during their "gap year" after completing Grade 12. The program provides mentorship and support to the participants, who in turn support younger learners through the @HomeLearning program. The participants engage in various activities such as home visits, community activations, and educational sessions. Additionally, they focus on their own personal and professional development every Friday. The program's goal is to empower and upskill the youth for future career opportunities.