MEC Schäfer donates a year’s worth of stationery to One Plek Shelter for Girls
This afternoon I visited Ons Plek Shelter for Girls to donate one year's worth of stationery to assist the learners' with their education.
The girls who live at Ons Plek are there for a variety of reasons, mainly because they have been removed from abusive homes or because they have become street children from either being orphaned or having come from abusive homes.
Their mission statement is "To make a substantive improvement in the lives of female street children and to prevent children at risk from becoming street children".
Ons Plek has 2 residences and currently accommodates 34 girls. They can have up to 66 girls per year. They also operate 3 Early Intervention projects in Philippi. These are for children who are at risk of dropping out of school and perhaps becoming street children. They provide after school homework assistance, life skills, counselling, family counselling and holiday programs. According to Pam Jackson of Ons Plek, they have succeeded in reducing the number of street children coming from Philippi from 50 girls every year to 1 girl in the last 13 years. This is an extraordinary achievement. 70 children now attend these prevention programmes.
It was really incredible to witness the work that they do. I therefore felt that as part of Women's Month, as the Education MEC, I had to see what I could do to assist the girls with their education. It turns out that what they needed the most was stationery.
Pam Jackson, Director of Ons Plek says that "the girls of Ons Plek need every bit of help they can get to strengthen their abilities in school. Thank you to MEC Schäfer for ensuring that the vulnerable girls are equipped with stationery and the resources that they need to ensure that they do their best at school".
The Late former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan declared, "Educating girls is a social development policy that works. It has immediate benefits for nutrition, health, savings and reinvestment at the family, community and ultimately country level".
Education is important for everyone, but it is a critical area of empowerment for girls and women. This is not only because it is a pathway to opportunity but also because educating a women has a massive positive impact within the family and from generation to generation.
As a Government, we must do everything we can to support our girl learners and ensure that they stay in school. Ons Plek is assisting us immensely with this task.
In recognising the excellent work that Ons Plek is doing, in terms of taking in girl children in need of care and protection, the Western Cape Department of Social development also provides the shelter with R1.5 million per a year in funding.
The work that they do is invaluable to us and I am truly grateful to witness their passion and commitment to ensuring that the young girls in their care, stay in school and have the opportunities to make a success of their lives.
Should anyone wish to assist Ons Plek with the great work that they do, please contact the Director Pam Jackson via email - firstname.lastname@example.org