New place for girls’ home

2017-04-25 08:51
Some of the teen girls living at the Ons Plek centre in Mowbray during the after-school programme offered by the centre’s social workers.

Some of the teen girls living at the Ons Plek centre in Mowbray during the after-school programme offered by the centre’s social workers.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Ons Plek, a home of hope for girls and a therapeutic centre for the broken-hearted, is growing bigger as it recently celebrated its move to new premises in Mowbray.

The centre was previously based in the city centre.

Its doors are open to every young girl from around Cape Town who needs help to deal with difficulties in her life.

Despite the challenge to get funding to maintain its services and create a more welcoming environment, Ons Plek has found a well-secured place.

It is currently taking care of 36 teen girls from all corners of Cape Town.

Through its programmes Ons Plek aims to keep girls off the streets and empower them to become better people in their communities.

It accommodates girls between the ages of 13 and 16 who have gone through difficulties in their lives, some of whom have even resorted to running away from their families to stay on the streets. Any teen girl, whether she wants to come herself or has been referred to by other stakeholders, is welcome at the centre.

The centre runs various programmes, both for girls who live at the centre and those who are struggling back at home and visit the centre for help. These include school programmes, life skills, community-based programmes and counselling. The centre’s main goals are not just to keep the girls off the streets but also to make sure they stay in school and perform well in class.

Girls who live at the centre usually stay there for a six months-long programme, during which her situation is monitored by the Ons Plek social workers.

If proven stable the girl then gets reunited with her family. However if the social workers find that she needs to stay longer, she becomes part of the long-term programme for a year or longer.

One 16-year-old participant says she has been at the centre for three months and her life has already changed for the better.

She says before she got to the centre her life was a mess, she was caught up with the wrong crowd and had no direction for her future. But Ons Plek has helped her realise her dream of becoming a social worker one day.

“I would like to become a social worker so that I can help children who find themselves in similar situations that I was in before I came here. This place has helped me find myself again,” she says.

Pam Jackson, a social worker and a director of the centre, says: “Through Ons Plek we reduced the number of street children from 100 girls heading to Cape Town streets every year to an average of four girls on the street at any one time. The causes remain the same, which are basically physical, emotional and sexual abuse, substance abuse, clubbing at an early age and mixing with the wrong crew.

“We have also been influential in getting parents to band together in an anti-gang action which was threatening the children of the area, as well as run awareness programmes on drugs and groups on domestic violence in the community.”

She says they have realised that it is important to intervene early to prevent children from landing up on the streets.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
ADVERTORIAL
Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

/Africa
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.