A typical day in Paternoster – the blue blue Atlantic Ocean and a gale force South Easter as the background to a networking lunch for 39 woman from the Paternoster Community.
The event was held at Sonkwas Blue accommodation, with it’s beautiful view over Bekbaai. The ladies were addressed by Toni Shina (The Backpack), Mario van Niekerk (GCU) and Sanita van der Merwe (Paternoster’s Peoples’ Partnership) – the subject was responsible tourism and how a community project can be integrated.
The guests were treated to a typical degustation menu served by Chef Kobus van der Merwe from Oep ve Koep Bistro.
Everyone tucked into the delicious food and enthusiastic conversations were shared especially after Mario van Niekerk, a previous gang member of the Americans, told the group about his community project in Heideveld. He was speaking from experience as he emphasised the fact that everyone should be included, even the so called ‘gangster’. There is no choice anymore for the people living in the community – everyone must get involved. Where tourism grows criminal and related activities tend to increase. The only way to fight crime is to fight poverty and to equip people with skills and thereby empower them.
Toni Shina gave some tips and insights on internet marketing and announced, with great excitement, the new internet portal for the Paternoster Community project. Friends of the Paternoster Peoples’ Partnership project can be listed on the website and they can choose to become a Bronze, Gold or Platinum friend. The Community project will benefit from this and two-way traffic ensures effective marketing for all parties in Paternoster. The advantages of marketing a Fair Trade brand were highlighted. The ladies heard what the terms ‘voluntourism’, ‘Fair trade’ and ‘Conscious capitalism’ mean.
Paternoster has the potential to become a tourist destination of choice, if we can address and improve the pressing social and economic needs of the community in this unique fishing village.
Worldwide more and more tourists are choosing destinations where community projects are established and where the local community are direct beneficiaries of these developments.
Sanita van der Merwe, who already started with this project in 2011, pointed out the achievability of this dream to establish a skills academy. She used examples from other successful community projects. The children that have been part of the project since 2011 have proven that it is a successful model. Important mind shifts have been made and the children are eager to go further within the academy. The purpose is that as many of Paternosters young people as possible must be able to do courses and learn skills at the academy. The women of Paternoster as a whole are very enthusiastic and both young and old would welcome a project like this.
Paternoster has many talented and well-equipped residents and 25 volunteers have already offered to help!
Please inform us of any other community projects and activities of the past and currently so that we can add the information on our blog and newsletter!
PPP is looking forward to a bright future. See our kids at Storytime in the library!
Thank you to everyone who have already promised help and made contributions.
Look out for moneyboxes at the restaurants and shops in Paternoster with our logo on, where you can make contributions.
Lewarn Benade is having a Christmas tree get together on the 18th December for the children of the community and Renee Gerber who has filled buckets with sweets for the occasion.
Thank you to everyone who is helping to make a difference!
See the spreadsheet of activities already volunteered and please send us your details if you can help in any way.