Voluntary Services | Emergency Pedagogy
+49 (0)721 20111-0
Waldorf Worldwide | WOW-Day | Sponsorships
+49 (0)30 617026 30
Home: Freunde Waldorf

Baphumelele - progress and hope for the Khayelitsha Township

South Africa: It all started in 1987, when Rosie Mashale opened a small kindergarten for children, who had previously played on a garbage dump during the day. In the following years, this initiative continued to grow and developed into a social project, which today includes not only the Baphumelele Educare Centre (Waldorf education for approximately 230 children), but also a children's home, a wood workshop and “Rosie’s” kitchen, as well as a centre for HIV-infected people. In 1997, the project was even visited by former South African President Nelson Mandela, which truly signifies a high honour.

The initiative is located in the Khayelitsha Township, 20 kilometers southeast of Cape Town. Khayelitsha is one of the most impoverished townships in South Africa with over one million inhabitants and a high HIV/AIDS rate. According to reliable estimates, there are approximately 14,000 orphans due to AIDS. While approximately 27% of adults are HIV positive, among pregnant mothers the proportion even reaches up to 40%. Most of the residents in Khayelitsha live in makeshift wooden or tin huts, which have no access to clean water, electricity or sanitation. Basic education and health facilities are lacking. Unemployment is officially around 50%, however, in reality the figure is unfortunately much higher.

“Baphumelele” means progress in Xhosa. This progress is clearly visible in the extensive social project that spans an entire street. Since 2000, the kindergarten accommodates nearly 300 children, in 2001 an orphanage was established and in 2004 there have been significant improvements in the organization. In 2005, a project started for young people suffering from AIDS, and since the end of 2011 there is the “Fountain of Hope,” another new project. On a small farm this project will provide a safe and familiar environment for young people who can benefit from valuable training in life skills, vocational training, on the job work experience as well as employment opportunities.

Then there is Rosie’s Kitchen. “Rosie”, as the founder is called, receives unsold vegetables from various markets. In a kind of soup kitchen she then provides food for township people in need. At the end of Dabula Street there is a soap factory. There, people from the Bonita House, who suffer from chronic illnesses, but are still able to work are given a possibility to be productive and make a difference in society.

The Bonita House is a respite care centre where people who are HIV positive or are suffering from other chronic illnesses receive temporary housing, medical care, nutritious meals and counselling. It has a medical room, an office, a common room and a hospital room with 15 hospital beds. Twice a week a doctor comes to visit and look after patients, two nurses are working at the Bonita House and the caregivers are in contact with four different hospitals.

Empower & donate now
Empower & donate now
Wir schauen nach vorne!

Bleibt optimistisch und macht mit.

Sicher fragen sich gerade viele von euch, wie ein Freiwilligendienst ab Herbst 2020 möglich sein wird. Wir bleiben zuversichtlich und arbeiten intensiv an Lösungen. Deshalb gilt: Bewerbt euch weiter und denkt positiv! Alle, die sich weltweit sozial engagieren wollen und optimistisch nach vorne schauen, werden gerade jetzt besonders gebraucht. Unsere Einsatzstellen freuen sich auf euch. Gemeinsam werden wir es schaffen, den Weg in euren Freiwilligendienst zu ermöglichen.

Apply for a voluntary service

Liebe*r Bewerber*in,

wir können derzeit nur Bewerbungen aus der Europäischen Union annehmen.

Aufgrund der aktuellen internationalen Reisebeschränkungen können wir momentan leider keine Bewerbungen von Freiwilligen außerhalb der EU annehmen. Sobald die Reisebeschränkungen aufgehoben werden, ist eine Bewerbung wieder möglich.


Dear Applicant,

Currently we can accept applications from the European Union only.

Due to current international travel restrictions, we are unfortunately unable to accept applications from volunteers outside the EU at this time. As soon as the travel restrictions are lifted, applications will be possible again.


Chère candidate, cher candidat,

Nous ne pouvons actuellement accepter que les demandes émanant de l'Union européenne.

En raison des restrictions de voyages internationaux, nous ne pouvons malheureusement pas accepter pour l'instant les candidatures de volontaires en dehors de l'UE. Dès que les restrictions de voyage seront levées, il sera à nouveau possible de présenter une demande.


Estimado solicitante,

actualmente sólo podemos aceptar solicitudes de la Unión Europea.

Debido a las actuales restricciones a los viajes internacionales, lamentablemente no podemos aceptar en este momento solicitudes de voluntarios de fuera de la UE. Tan pronto como se levantan las restricciones de viaje, las solicitudes serán posibles de nuevo.