Girls get free books

Ons Plek Shelter for Girls received a donation of stationery from the Western Cape Education Department on Monday 27 August to support 24 schoolgirls.

The stationery included exercise books, plastic book covers, pens, pencils, sharpeners, crayons and other items.

Provincial minister of education, Debbie Schäfer, says the donation is aimed at assisting the learners with their education for a period of one year.

She says 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 woman 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.”

Ons Plek cares for vulnerable girls with disadvantaged backgrounds and aims to minimise the number of women living on the street.

It is reported that over the past few years the home has been negatively affected by the recent economic climate, putting them at risk of being financially stressed.

Pam Jackson, director of Ons Plek, says: “Ons Plek has been affected like the many brand names in businesses who are suffering in the current economic climate. Donations are seriously down in the last three years. In addition the trend in donating is now to give concrete or material donations in favour of donations for running costs. While these donations are helpful, every household knows no-one can operate without finances to pay for electricity and water and phones. We can have the best classrooms in the world but without money to pay a teacher we cannot teach.”

She thanked Schäfer for the donation, saying the girls need every bit of help they can get to strengthen their abilities at school.

The learners also voiced their gratitude for the donations.

They say they take education seriously as it is their way to a better future.

The learners say Ons Plek does the best it can to give them a normal life with a chance to access good education through its educational programmes which help them cope with their schoolwork.V For more information about Ons Plek, or to donating to the facility, email onsplek@­onsplek.org.za.