Most of the girls at Ons Plek have big dreams and great obstacles to overcome. We like to celebrate their victories with them. These are usually victories like permanently moving home at the age of 18 to help look after an ailing granny while supported by their aunt, or working at an educare centre as a cleaner while paying off her own shack in a backyard, or marrying a stable lad with a job and bringing up her daughters with the kind of love she had to survive without.
Yet even greater miracles do happen, for those with a special courage and special determination. A former Ons Plek girl gave staff a surprise party last year. She was celebrating her graduation at the Cape Technikon in Management studies. In her speech to us she laughed and said how much she appreciates all the arguments she had with the vocational co-ordinator and support teacher. In the end she learnt to make realistic choices, obtain the most from her learning environment, support herself financially and, in her mid-twenties, her dreams are alive and closer than ever.