Gangsterism is the biggest culprit forcing people from areas surrounding Bellville and Parow, to end up on the streets of Bellville's CBD. File picture: Henk Kruger
Gangsterism is the biggest culprit forcing people from areas surrounding Bellville and Parow, to end up on the streets of Bellville's CBD. File picture: Henk Kruger

What is #TheDignityProject?

By Gasant Abarder Time of article published Apr 11, 2016

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Cape Town - Every day they wake up not knowing what the next hour will hold. Where the next meal will come from. Some are former professionals who life has dealt a rough hand. Others were born never knowing what it is to have a home. They are the homeless people of Cape Town.

On Monday, the Cape Argus launches a new collaborative editorial initiative called The Dignity Project – a 15-part daily series about the homeless people of Cape Town.

Also read: The skarrel to eke out a life

We have collaborated with the homeless people of Cape Town to provide a never before published catalogue of the people who live in the shadows of our city. The series is about their daily struggle to survive and the daily battle for the things many of us take for granted.

The project is the culmination of weeks of newsgathering by Cape Argus deputy news editor Lance Witten and chief photographer Henk Kruger.

But what sets it apart from any other editorial project is that it will feature a daily column written by one of the homeless people of Cape Town.

Danny Oosthuizen has spent years on the streets and will give unique perspectives into the lives of the homeless. In his first column he writes: “We would like the public to know that we are in need of engagement. We are hungry for conversation, the human touch. To be part of the community again, to restore our dignity. Our self-worth. It is not always just about material things.

“Greet us when we greet you. Ask my name.”

Read Danny's story here

The Dignity Project follows the Cape Argus’s groundbreaking #ShutItDown edition, co-edited by the students involved in the #FeesMustFall movement. This time we’re giving the homeless people of Cape Town a voice.

We have worked patiently with the homeless people involved in this project in an effort to debunk stereotypes, myths and misconceptions and to bring our readers the stories that we don’t readily want to confront.

The Dignity Project is a platform for the citizens of Cape Town to engage with the homeless people of our city in a meaningful way.

Cape Argus

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