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Welthaus & Selfhelp Manenberg (2005-2014)

Welthaus Aachen is the founding organisation of the Aachen-Cape Town partnership. In 1999, a Welthaus employee encouraged his organisation to cooperate with the NGO KERIC in Khayelithsa. This one-to-one co-operation gradually developed into the partnership that exists today. KERIC soon disbanded, but Welthaus found a new partner organisation.

2005 ASA-Project Lessons in a box

Selfhelp Manenberg became a project partner of Welthaus in 2005 in the first 6-month ASA North-South project. Juanita Muguni and Patrick Nel, together with their partners Yasmin Büttgen and Torsten Janssen, familiarised themselves with the Welthaus project “Lessons in a box” during the 3-month North phase in Aachen and transferred it to Manenberg during the South phase of the project.

2007 Environmental Education Exchange

This year, Monika Nellißen from the Ecology Centre Aachen spent two months with the organisation Selfhelp Manenberg as part of an environmental education exchange. She led training sessions for employees of the organisation as well as teachers and learners in Manenberg. During her stay, a delegation trip to Cape Town also took place in 2007, during which Birgitta Hollmann and Edgar Wessels signed a partnership agreement on further cooperation between Welthaus Aachen and Selfhelp Manenberg

2008 und 2009 William Willams in Aachen

During these two years, the new director of Selfhelp, William Williams, visited Aachen for a week each time as part of conference invitations to Germany from other organisations. He learnt about the work of Welthaus and the partnership and was enthusiastic about the City of Aachen’s playhouse in Kennedypark. This gave birth to the project idea for the next ASA North-South project “Speelhuis”.

2010 ASA-Project Speelhuis

ASA volunteers Chris Herrwig, Susanne Baltes, Janine Baker and Samantha Fagan worked together in this North-South project to realise the “Speelhuis” for Manenberg. During the North phase, the four scholarship holders got to know the working methods of the people at Spielhaus Kennedypark and visited various other children’s and youth facilities in Aachen. During the southern phase in Manenberg, the concept of the playhouse was adapted and put into practice, with Selfhelp Manenberg renting rooms in two community centres from the City of Cape Town.

2012 ASA-Project Comparing Youth Unemployment

The ASA North-South project 2012 focused on concepts for unemployed young people on their way into the labour market. During the northern phase, ASA volunteers Mira Kremers, Tim Meyer, Clare Hiles and Samantha Lottering learnt about various support projects in the transition from school to work. The team came to the conclusion that there is strong competition between the project organisers and that many support measures are too short-lived and therefore cannot solve the problem. The southern phase proved to be difficult, as the two volunteers from Selfhelp were no longer employed there. The two German volunteers accompanied a social worker and explored an organisation that helps unemployed people to become self-employed. However, it was difficult to make a real connection with the northern phase due to the special circumstances.

2013 KF-South-North-Reverse-Exchange

Engagement Global supports young Germans with the Concrete Peace Service (KF) programme in self-organised projects in the Global South. From 14 September to 24 November 2013, a reverse-project for young participants from the South took place in Germany for the first (and only) time: “Strengthening civil society actors in countries of the South through exchange and cooperation”. Seven participants from partner organisations of associations from the province of North Rhine-Westphalia from five countries (Mexico, Namibia, Nicaragua, South Africa and Togo) got to know the role and working methods of German organisations. Shonelle from Selfhelp spent time at the Spielhaus Kennedypark, the aftercare at the Primary School am Lousberg and the kindergarten RoKoKo. She also actively helped with the bicycle collection campaign and was then able to help distribute the bicycles back in Cape Town.

2014 ASA-Project YUACT

This is what ASA scholarship holders Teresa Wald, Anna Langer, Haroldene Bruiners and Grant Bellairs called their project. The acronym combines the words Youth Unemployment in Aachen and Cape Town. The project work in the northern phase consisted mainly of research work on the topic of preventive and combating measures relating to unemployment, particularly among young people. At the beginning of the southern phase, the project team was confronted with the challenge that the partner organisation Selfhelp Manenberg was in the process of being dissolved. There was no working space at the organisation and the southern participants were now unemployed themselves. However, the team managed to overcome these difficulties, found a workplace with the former director of Selfhelp, Edgar Wessels, at “The Business Place” and visited many organisations involved in the topic.

The closure of Selfhelp Manenberg at the end of 2014 ended the long-standing partnership between Selfhelp and Welthaus Aachen. Welthaus then did not enter into a new partnership with another organisation in Cape Town.