Net vir Pret

Net vir Pret (Just for Fun) is the major project within the EDSA portfolio and we are very committed to its ongoing development and sustainability. Net vir Pret is delivering out of school and youth work based mainly in and around the Barrydale township (previously known as Smitsville) area in the Overberg, Western Cape. It also works in isolated Farm Schools and around the small farm labourer dwellings in the area. EDSA raised the funds for the initial embryonic After-school Club in 2003, on the initiative of Ann Harries Brown, EDSA founding Trustee, who became aware of the obvious need when she was visiting Barrydale and met Peter Takelo (NvP founding Director). Net vir Pret now has its own headquarters in the centre of the township and has a small but dedicated team of children / youth workers including a sports development worker.  EDSA is proud to have funded this move into dedicated premises for Net vir Pret and is very keen to assist NvP to sustain and further develop its activities. The headquarter building has now been considerably extended with thanks to several individual donors as well as a huge fundraising push.  The new building is probably the largest in the township and is dedicated to children and young people.

The latest development is three new workshops together with new lavatories, two showers and a laundry area.  The pottery and craftwork now have dedicated workshop spaces and a new woodworking area has been set up.  Eventually items made in these workshops will be sold within the centre and other outlets.

There is a wonderful children's room which has a daily after school care group led by Senior team member Donna Kouter.  The children have access to craft materials, toys, puzzles, books and under the careful and caring eye of Donna they thrive.  They have a snack/meal daily which is very important for some of them.

Net vir Pret has a well developed management committee and is a registered not for profit organisation which is well run, however it still finds that continued funding is hard to come by. NvP has an excellent fundraiser, Derek Joubert, with many years of experience however still struggles with cash flow issues. Its mission is to encourage self-esteem, confidence and a sense of responsibility among the children of rural fruit pickers in the Barrydale/Smitsville area of the Overberg, Western Cape.

The on-going effect of alcohol, drug misuse and decades of degrading racism has often been a devastating feature for the community and especially for the children and young people who live with the consequences of parental involvement. NvP is working hard with them as part of their commitment to reduce the possibility of petty crime, dependence on drugs and alcohol, and to combat the lack of ambition among these children of the new South Africa.

COVID has of course been a huge issue at the Project.  The staff continued their work in the centre with many restrictions in place.  Now these have been ended there are more children than ever using the centre daily.  The new Chef, Fabian, cooks hot food for the children daily which is very important for many of them who are really impoverished.  Employment opportunities ended during COVID and the levels of poverty and unemployment increased enormously.  This will take a long time to get sorted.  Net vir Pret has had an impact on the numbers of young people who are now keen to attend Colleges and University and the first young person from one of the Farm Schools gained a University place in 2023, they needed funding support for their accommodation and food and an EDSA Friend kindly offered to help this young man and one other.  EDSA's personal knowledge of the needs within Net vir Pret, gained by our Trustee regular visits and the information shared by Derk Joubert and the staff, allows us to quickly respond to needs.  

All funds which come into EDSA are spent within the township, mainly in the Net vir Pret Centre, there are NO administration costs.  Thankyou for your ongoing support.  

Net vir Pret has always used creativity to enthuse the children and young people.  It was very lucky to have support from Handspring Puppets (based in Cape Town) to learn about puppetry.  Staff all had training and have been organising an annual Parade, using all sizes of puppets including huge and very impressive ones, at first with great support from Handspring but in the last few years made in house.  They devise and write the whole event and under the direction of Donna and with the making skills of Herman and Clarisa as well as the involvement of all staff and children the yearly event is renowned within the village and has an international following from tourists.  This is always held in December for Peace and Reconciliation Day.  

The aim of Net vir Pret has always been to provide regular and stimulating after-school activities which promote creativity, self-confidence and a sense of responsibility among marginalised rural coloured or mixed race young people.  It continues to offer:

  • Centre based activities including:
    the NvP after-school clubs, where under experienced leadership, children can develop through learning how to make music, draw, paint, read, do pottery, a wide variety of craft work, play with puzzles and construction/educational toys such as they will not have at home.
  • Outreach work to isolated small Farm Schools where retive arts and sports are difficult  to fit into the curriculum.
  • The use of creative and educational play (including sports provision) to encourage children and young people to have higher aspirations and to want to progress in their learning.
  • A great cycle project which teaches children to cycle safely and to repair bicycles. 
  • The provision of regular projects in school holidays which also involve the more isolated children and include a meal to ensure children are safe, secure and fed at these times whilst also being encouraged to participate in a range of creative activities with educational themes.
  • The training of high-school volunteers who assist the children in their creative activities and offer them new transferable skills.
  • The widening of the vision/horizons of these home-bound children by taking them outside their local rural area on leisure and educational trips to towns or the seaside.
  • The opportunity to learn from visiting artists and educators of different ethnic backgrounds and experiences to extend an understanding and appreciation of the wider world.
  • The further development of several small libraries and play sessions so that the children can play with the same creative and educational books that their more fortunate peers often take for granted.  Toys and books are rarely available in their homes.
  • The support for young people before taking matriculation to consider their career and further education options and to help with matching young people to bursary options for ongoing education.

Net vir Pret has a wonderful staff team who work very hard to encourage and enthuse the children and young people within the township, they are all from the township and live there apart from 2 specialist tutors, Jean and Charl, the Administrator, Derek.  Thanks to them all, especially: Peter, Donna, Herman, Angelo, Clarisa, Selanvor, Anwil, Daylan, Fabian, Nataniel.  Also to the many Interns who have spent time within Net vir Pret learning and developing and to The Young Leaders who come from the local school also play an important role within NvP especially at the Holiday Schools.  Net vir Pret reaches into the township and the local community as well as into the surroudning farming areas, it is making a huge difference to the lives, aspirations and hope of the children and youth. xx





  • Overseas volunteers occassionally work alongside NvP staff to offer a wide variety of educational and creative projects as well as the chance for them to learn more about the work of NvP and to meet with the participants.


Queue for toy libraryQueue for toy library


EDSA is urgently seeking further funding to develop the workshops and to sustain the after school and youth work. For an Annual Report on the activities of Net vir Pret please contact: EDSA Trustees, c/o 14 Riverside Road, Oxford OX2 0HU or tel. 01865 248 189 or email