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Bauwagen goes South (2004-2010)

From 2002-2012, the Stadtoasen Schüler Bauwagen (a construction trailer) travelled through the Aachen region. Wherever it stopped, learners, parents and teachers worked together with members of the Stadtoasen e.V. association to redesign their schoolyards according to the children’s wishes and needs. During the delegation’s visit in 2003, the idea was born to transfer the Bauwagen concept to the townships in the Cape Flats and to start similar projects there.

2004 ASA exchange project

In German spring 2004, Nosisa Merile from Abalimi Bezekhaya and Mbuso Shandu from SEED spent three months at Stadtoasen in Aachen and familiarised themselves with the German construction trailer project. Together with the two Aachen students Helene Hüttinger and Sven Daniels, they worked with the children of the Zenzeleni School in Khayelitsha from September to November 2004 on a pilot project to redesign the school playground, plant flowers and trees, paint a wall and build a seesaw and platforms.

2006 Khayelitsha Special School

As part of a voluntary ecological year, Holle Wlokas and Bastian Wyink worked together with the learners and teachers at a school for physically and mentally disabled children from March to May 2006 to remodel the school grounds with the support of Nosisa and Mzukisi Sele from SEED. A meadow, shade-giving trees and a windbreak hedge were planted, a school garden was laid out and play facilities were created (swings, seesaw, tunnel made from old lorry tyres).

2007 Talfryn Harris in Aachen

Talfryn Harris, SEED’s new project manager, visited Aachen for a fortnight in October 2007 and actively worked with the Stadtoasen team on the schoolyard remodelling of the Goethe School in Baesweiler.

2008 Fairview Primary School, Grassy Park

The third project took place in Cape Town from February to May 2008. Talfryn had chosen the schoolyard of Fairview Primary School, which is also used by a neighbouring home for the blind. Together with the school children, the two German volunteers Melina Frese and Inka Mertes laid out a sensory trail with two foot-touch areas and raised beds with herbs for smelling, touching and tasting. This serves to develop the senses of the blind and sighted children. Other kitchen gardens with vegetable patches, an open classroom and play areas with swings and seesaws were also created. Together with two artists from Gugulethu, the children also designed a wall of a school building on the theme of kitchen gardens.

2010 Healthy Schools in Grassy Park

In the run-up to the 2010 World Cup, Aubrey de Wet, head teacher of Fairview Primary School, proposed a project for the primary schools in “his” neighbourhood. Together with the school communities, the two project managers Monika Galla and Norbert Kuntz created a combination of gardens and trim parks at three primary schools to improve the health situation (creation of exercise areas and planting of fruit and vegetables for healthy eating).

After the Bauwagen-project in Aachen had ended due to a lack of demand, no more transfer projects were organised in Cape Town by the Stadtoasen e.V. association.