"A winner is a dreamer who never gives up."
- Nelson Mandela

1. Need for Action

"It always seems impossible until it’s done."
- Nelson Mandela

uNowanga prepares youth from South Africa to pursue a paid apprenticeship as officially recognized nurses in Germany.

There are currently 200,000 unoccupied learnerships in Germany. One of the areas with the most significant shortage is care-giving. By the year 2030, Germany will have vacancies for an estimated 300,000 care-givers, 200,000 of which will be in elderly care specifically.

On average there are only 21 applications on 100 care-giver work positions. As a result, patients do not receive the care they deserve.

We believe that there is a need for action in order to improve this. We want Germany to improve in this sector to be able to provide dignified care for everybody.

At the same time, approximately half of South Africa’s youth are currently unemployed and do not have many prospects for their futures.

2. Triple Win

"May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears."
- Nelson Mandela

A number of these unemployed or underemployed individuals have attained basic qualifications such as qualified care-givers in South Africa, e.g., community health workers with a qualification level between NQF level 2 and NQF level 4. Bridging this cross-country disparity would allow for South African youth to gain training, employment, and international exposure. This will also enable the German elderly to receive improved care and in addition will assist the German and South African governments to relieve their social responsibility burden.

Are you interested in participating in our programme? Please fill in the form here.

Are you interested in becoming a partner? Please do not hesitate contacting us under

3. The programme

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
- Nelson Mandela

In order to apply for our programme, one must have completed NQF level 2 to level 4 of the South African Community Health Worke training, a SAQA and HWSETA accredited course. Participants that successfully complete the screening and interview process will be invited to join our programme of approximately 4 years.

In the first year South African Community Health Workers will receive training in a German language course at the Goethe Institute, the leading international German language training institution in Johannesburg. At the same time, the participants will perform practical work in South Africa in order to experience German culture, practice the language, and improve their caring skills. There is a salary paid for this work while the language course will be covered by uNowanga.

After successful completion of the language course, the participants will start their training in Germany. There they will join the 3-year programme that is half classroom-based and half on-the-job-training-based. In Germany this training is called ‘Ausbildung’, which translates to apprenticeship. During the full duration of that time, the learners are paid a salary. After successful completion of the training, the participants will have the opportunity to return home to South Africa and work there.

4. The name uNowanga

What does uNowanga mean?

The name ‘uNowanga’ is derived from the African Languages isiZulu and isiXhosa. It means the White Stork. The White Stork is a migratory bird traveling between Southern Africa and Central Europe depending on the season. They bring good to the countries they visit. The participants of uNowanga will be doing the same.

5. Our Network

uNowanga is based on strong partnerships. The Order of St John is our partner in South Africa.

The Order of St John trains youth from mostly disadvantaged backgrounds to become community health workers. uNowanga then offers a further education programme for these youth. The Order of St John provides community-based care, promotion of health and well-being as well as delivering healthcare and support service. Operating in more than 30 countries around the world with over 300,000 volunteers and staff makes St John one of the greatest care providers in the world. It is historically closely linked to the German Johanniter Orden that provides similar services within Germany.

Are you interested in joining our programme? Please contact us:


Are you interested in our project uNowanga or even want to become a partner? We would love to hear from you!

19 Woolston Road
Westcliff, Johannesburg
South Africa