Tuesday, February 22, 2011


today i met a girl named hope. what a name. i told her there is a little town just outside of vancouver called hope too. she was very excited to hear this. i sat down with her and read with her. at first her voice was very quiet and timid. scared to make a mistake. but as i joked and encouraged her i saw that in a short time she felt a lot more confident and willing to take risks.
i met shaakirah when i was first arriving. she is a little heart breaker. during my time with the other girls she must have come over to me at least three times asking for help. i promised her i would be over as soon as we finished the worksheets. and then i found that i couldn't pull myself away from her. working on multiples and factors. she knew more than she was giving herself credit for, but taking her time because she didn't want me to divert my attention back to the others.

i arrived feeling tired as i am on antibiotics. but once i walked into the shelter i woke up. because there is no feeling like giving yourself. to little girls who are trying to change their futures. who have come from such hardships most people couldn't even dream of their entire lives...before they were even teens. and to be apart of that change, even if only for a few hours everyday, leaves me speechless.

no words to describe a full heart.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

to give or not to give...

when confronted with a street child at your car window or on your way into a restaurant, you probably wonder what to do. maybe sometimes you give something to get rid of the child or maybe you feel guilty about your own privilege. perhaps you wonder whether you should give at all...

not giving
most of the children you see on the streets are sent by their family to earn money. not giving money means these families lose their only income. in the short-term this is catastrophic.

most children living on the streets use the money they receive to buy thinners, glue or a video game. in the long-term giving money is a death sentence: children learn to be street children - they start strolling and leave their families without an income.

is there a third option?
- greet the children you see begging on the streets. ask if you can give food instead. they'll move on if they don't want to chat. genuine concern is something money cannot communicate.
- give something really normal like a balloon or sweets. children on the streets are still children.
- give the money you would give on the streets to the programs that are helping address the problem of children on the streets. programs include soup kitchens, day programs, shelters and educational/vocational training opportunities. there are more than 200 children begging on the streets of cape town on a typical working day. a great deal of money that could be used by programs to help these children is being given away by the public.
- support initiative and effort. many people on the streets make a living by selling things, washing cars and gathering paper for recycling. encourage this. for instance: don't have your office's waste paper collected, contract street people to do it for you.

rescues 150 runaway girls per year from the street life. we reunite 95% with their families/communities. providing 24-hour accommodation, counseling and education while undertaking the complex reunification process, is the key to our success.

for more information and to make a donation check out www.onsplek.org.za

after all

you point your finger at me. piercing through my heart like a dagger.
that unwavering gaze...
think you know so much don't you.
give me your hand. hold mine. take it easy. there is no right or wrong.
it's just life.
and in this little thing we call life is a dream. i have mine. gets me out of bed in the morning.
i will put it in a bottle. throw it in the vacuous sea.
lose it for a minute.
but it will come back when the tide comes in. when the ocean sprays my face.
leaving a faint salty kiss. that still lingers as the sun goes down.
in the darkness you will tell me your secret fears.
let the walls down and tremble like a child.
i don't find solace in your insecurities.

it's just nice to see you human after all

Tuesday, February 15, 2011