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The Dignity Project - a Cape Argus collaborative editorial initiative

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 have been dealt a rough hand in life. Others were born never knowing what it is to have a home. They are the homeless people of Cape Town.
The Dignity Project - a Cape Argus collaborative editorial initiative
On Monday 11 April, 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. 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 aside 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 many years on the streets of the CBD and will give unique perspectives on 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.”

Dave with Cape Argus Editor, Gasant Arbader
Dave with Cape Argus Editor, Gasant Arbader
Editor Gasant Abarder says The Dignity Project is groundbreaking and follows the Cape Argus’s #ShutItDown edition – the edition last October that was co-edited by the students involved in the #FeesMustFall movement – which received critical acclaim.

The Dignity Project is about giving the homeless people of Cape Town a voice,” said Abarder.

“How often have we stopped to engage them? To hear their stories? We have worked patiently with the homeless people involved in this project in an effort to bust stereotypes, myths and conceptions and to bring our readers the stories that we don’t want to confront.

“Any one of us can end up on the streets. 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.”

Follow the series on iol.co.za and #TheDignityProject.

11 Apr 2016 11:07

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