I worked for Selfhelp Manenberg which was part of the Aachen Cape Town Partnership since 2007. I have been instrumental in leadership positions both inside the organisation, as well as representing the organisation in the Manenberg community and beyond for more than 25 years.
Part of my responsibility was to accompany other community leaders to meetings and liaising with gang leaders and external entities over the years to work towards a safer and peaceful Manenberg. This was from engaging with the City of Cape Town, local networking partners to international partners and funders and representing the community as far afield as Germany. I was also one of the Local Agenda21 pilot project families, which materialised through this partnership.
In 2013 I was sponsored by Welthaus and the Aachen partners to a 17-day trip to Germany during June/July. This was after taking on the Acting Director role at Selfhelp Manenberg, which was a very challenging period in the history of the organisation.
I had a very packed itinerary, and a” personal tour guide”, Norbert Kuntz, who was seconded to the Organisation by “Brot für die Welt” at the time. My homestay was also accommodating, thanks to Birgitta that opened her home to me!
What stood out for me of Germany or the Germans were their hospitality, and the way they take life so serious, at the same time! They love to party, but are time management freaks! They were challenged with the African time syndrome!