Our Ons Plek Book

Ons Plek book by Pam Jackson


“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:

The busy staircase at the Ons Plek Intake Child and Youth Care Centre.

Chapter 1

The stolen child, the murderer and Ons Plek’s elite detective team.

… in which an overview of Ons Plek’s work is presented through the telling of Thuli’s true life story.

Chapter 2

A Place for Us.

…in which we introduce Ons Plek, describe life on the street and sketch the brief history of anything but an uneventful time.

Back with my family.

Chapter 3

Family Reunification.

…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.

Chapter 4

Counselling at Ons Plek

…in which the stone hearts of some children are warmed so that they can feel again… and the counselling process is shared.

Chapter 5

Life Story Books – Weaving together the strands.

…in which some children are helped to tell some very personal stories.

Chapter 6

The welltrodden path to death’s door.

…in which the phone rings several times and we learn to rise to the occasion when death pays a call

Children are citizens

Chapter 7

“The Bold and the Beautiful”.

…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’.

When I mess I know the best thing is to clean it up!  Thats life.

Chapter 8

Discipline through consequences.

…in which the girls try to stay one step ahead of the staff and discipline becomes as empowering as it can be.

Night streets.

Chapter 9

Quiet weekends and when to quit.

…in which we come to terms with the reality that “there is no helping some people”.

drawing heart education

Chapter 10

“Sifunda Ukuphila” – “We are here for our future lives”.

…in which we paint a picture of what the girls haven’t learnt at school and what to do about it.

Cape Town Night Street

Chapter 11

Responses to Frequently Asked Questions.

… and presenting some intense debates.