“ONS PLEK – a place for us.”
The story of the Ons Plek Projects Girls’ Shelter in Cape Town.
by Pam Jackson and Renée Rossouw / © Ons Plek Projects 2006. [Citation]
Free download of each chapter here:
… in which an overview of Ons Plek’s work is presented through the telling of Thuli’s true life story.
…in which we introduce Ons Plek, describe life on the street and sketch the brief history of anything but an uneventful time.
…in which dancing in a shebeen becomes a key work task for child care worker Zuziwe and colleague Cynthia reluctantly takes off her brand new high heels on the muddy Transkei hills… all in the professional pursuit of family reunification.
…in which the stone hearts of some children are warmed so that they can feel again… and the counselling process is shared.
…in which some children are helped to tell some very personal stories.
…in which the phone rings several times and we learn to rise to the occasion when death pays a call
…in which staff help children to talk about the private topic of sexual abuse and the focus is on ways of dealing with sexual ‘acting out’.
…in which the girls try to stay one step ahead of the staff and discipline becomes as empowering as it can be.
…in which we come to terms with the reality that “there is no helping some people”.
…in which we paint a picture of what the girls haven’t learnt at school and what to do about it.
… and presenting some intense debates.
….work of the heart.