About Us

We are a diverse team of young people who came to Germany as students and au pairs, and who now pursue different career paths and are passionate about helping others. We have combined our experiences and expertise in various fields to assist those who are following in our footsteps – and we hope to spare them the difficulties we faced.

Our Mission

The Next Step team is here to advise and support you during your time in Germany. We are your source of information on all questions, concerns and available options: au pair year, social year, doing an Ausbildung, studying and working, etc.  We point you in the right direction and are there to encourage you to reach your goals! Just reach out, and we’ll help.

WHO?

Au pairs, students and young people with an immigration background.

WHAT?

Provide information and support to navigate life in the German society.

Help integrate into the society.

Inspire, motivate and promote young people to achieve their goals.

Raise public and political awareness on issues concerning young immigrants.

HOW?

Informative website.

One on one advice sessions.

Events (workshops, seminars, webinars).

 

 

Annual Report -Letter from the President

Dear Members,

l am delighted to share with you my first letter as President and Co-Founder of The Next Step e.V. This year has been an astounding success—and I would like to thank Nhlanhla Mpofu, Vice-President and Co-Founder as well as Audrey Ncube, our former Treasurer, for their painstaking efforts over the past few years. Our collective work has not been in vain.

In October of 2015, having been moved by the fate of au pairs, we decided to launch a self-help group for au pairs in Germany. In short: we aimed to be their support pillar and source of information for whatever issue they may face. Having decided to be a virtual group in order to reach everyone effectively, we set up a Facebook page and email account.

At the beginning of the year, we recognized the severity of some of the cases we encountered, and this encouraged us to ask for help. We received invaluable guidance and support from Professor Dr. Habil. van der Beek from Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences. A few months later, Berlin Law and Legal— not-for-profit organization providing legal advice to other non-profits—had taken us under their wings. The organization assigned to us a team of young student lawyers, who have continued to work with us and have been an amazing force towards the fulfilment of our goals. As of 3 December 2018, we have officially become an NGO and have successfully been registered in the Commercial Register. The Board and l would like to thank all our stakeholders for believing in us and our vision, as well as for their tremendous support and contribution towards this amazing milestone in our journey.

2018 also saw our website go live with the help of various donors who wanted to help the movement. Although there has been a lot of information available, we wanted to make it accessible and deliver it in a way that is relatable, relevant and efficient for the young people with an immigration background in Germany. Our social media and Internet presence continue to make us a leader and key point of contact in helping young people. We are young, and most of us are immigrants; hence we are very much in touch with the challenges our target group faces, and we know how to reach them.

We are far from what we want to achieve, but the foundation has been set. This is only the beginning. In 2019, we hope to introduce fresh ideas in our Strategic Goals & Objectives. We will continue to embrace diversity and inclusion and will help the young immigrant community in German in all its entirety, regardless of race, religion or nationality. We hope to use our official status to forge partnerships and embark on projects with other NGOs in Germany and in the city of Düsseldorf. Young people are quite scarce in most of these initiatives, but we must be part of the conversation, because the decisions being made at the top affect us and will affect our future. We have so much to offer, and we are the future. Therefore, we are making a seat at the table, so we can be heard and present as a young and vibrant immigrant community of Germany.

Our website will continue to empower young people with information and equip them with skills from our planned webinars, speed dating sessions, seminars and workshops. Technology is a big part of our generation, and we are thus harnessing its power and making it a key tool to execute our strategies. We are open to teach the older generation and introduce them to the new way of working. The Next Step e.V. is green, paperless and tech-savvy.

As we march towards the future, l am excited to welcome the new additions into the Board in 2019 and would like to thank and encourage the current team for their efforts thus far. Being a volunteer is not for everybody—and it takes time, commitment and dedication to help others without any financial return or value. But as l always say, be the change you want to see in the world, and remember

                                     “…change begins when you take the next step!”

Sincerely,

Claudine Ndlovu

President & Co- Founder

https://the-nextstep.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Annual-Report-2018-.pdf

Annual Report- Operations Report

Nhlanhla Mpofu
Vice-President & Co-Founder

Dear Members

It is with great pleasure that I address you as head of operations and share with you some of the activities that took place this year. Our year was extremely successful, and we achieved remarkable milestones. I would like to extend my gratitude to every single member of The Next Step and all the efforts that they put into ensuring that we achieve all we set out to do this year.

This was quite a busy year for us as we were changing the organization from a self-help group status to an NGO. This meant that a lot of organization and planning was needed. Members were constantly being asked for information and my duty was to collect all the necessary information. We also held a lot of meetings that had to be planned and prepared for as well.  I also took and shared the minutes from all meetings with members.

The website was a great milestone for us, and I would like to personally thank Claudine Ndlovu for all the hours that she put into it. The result was a very professional and high standard website that is very easy to navigate and very informative. The operational part of the website included gathering information and planning what would be on the website. Members made suggestions and sent in articles that had to be edited or translated to ensure that we were putting out information that was factually correct but also well edited. Once the website was complete, we had to prepare a press release statement as we introduced The Next Step e.V.  to the world. This was certainly a moment of great pride and joy for all of us.

Through all this hard work we put into bringing The Next Step to life, we have to say that our biggest achievement this year was being able to help those who reached out to us. There was nothing more fulfilling than to be able to meet all our aims and goals as an organisation, which are to help and give information to those in need. Since I oversaw operations, this included responding to cases that we received on Facebook as well as phone conversations. It was a very busy year filled with a lot of ‘first-time’ scenarios that required us to do a lot of research to enable us to effectively assist everyone. The experience that we gained as well as the connections we made this year give us the confidence to know that we will be able to swiftly resolve future cases that are brought to us.

To all those who were part of our journey we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude.  In 2019 we plan to further increase our connections as well as continue to assist young people achieve their goals in Germany.

Sincerely,

Nhlanhla Mpofu

President & Co- Founder