StreetSmart SA, an organisation dedicated to helping street children rebuild their lives through donations from restaurants in the Western Cape, Garden Route and Gauteng, has handed over R50 000 to their Knysna beneficiary, Sinethemba Projects, for 2017. This is part of an allocation of over R1 million raised nationally for the third consecutive year by StreetSmart SA for beneficiaries in the various regions.
For the last fourteen years, Sinethemba has worked to create opportunities for at risk children living and working on the streets of Knysna. The aim is to engage these children and their families in preventative programmes and to provide basic skills in order to integrate them back into main stream schools.
There are currently 5 restaurants in Knysna that have embraced StreetSmart’s vision to make a real difference to the lives of street children. Funds are raised by adding a R5 donation to each table's bill at participating restaurants. This donation is voluntary and diners are able to contribute more if they wish to.
Caroline’s @ Belvidere Manor, Chatters Bistro, Earth & Fire Restaurant, Knysna Hollow, and The Bell Tavern @ Belvidere Manor, offer their diners the opportunity to give responsibly in their restaurants, and not in the hands of a child on the street.
“We are delighted that 2016 is the first full year of disbursing the funds raised by StreetSmart restaurants and their diners by giving responsibly in Knysna. We invite more local eateries to become part of this initiative, providing opportunities for street children and other vulnerable children in the community to live viable lives,” says Melanie Burke, Chairman of StreetSmart SA.
“The StreetSmart funding enabled Sinethemba to effectively reach 221 vulnerable children in Knysna. The rising demand in our schools coupled with the community’s acknowledgement of the effect social background has on vulnerable children, created a platform for the Auxiliary Social Worker and her team to work with referrals instead of taking the children out of the school environment. At the Drop-in Centre a record 62 children at risk attended the life and social skills workshops,” said Michael Smith, Managing Director of Sinethemba.
StreetSmart Restaurateurs and their diners are taking hands to make a difference in their communities. Nationally this partnership with 92 restaurants has raised more than R1 060 000 during 2016, for organisations that are actively involved with social development and rehabilitation of street children with the ultimate goal of family re-unification.
"I remember supporting StreetSmart as a tourist in South Africa when it was first started in Cape Town. What a great way for local businesses to support street children in their own areas! I was so excited when StreetSmart finally came to Knysna and more than happy to support this initiative in my restaurant. As for our locals, they are happy to donate as the beneficiary is actually here, doing good, in Knysna. For the tourists, they know that every cent they leave with us ends up directly with the beneficiary- nothing gets eaten up by admin costs. What a great way to help the street children they see every day of their holidays. A great initiative all round!" says Clare Dixon, owner of Chatters Bistro.
StreetSmart SA was set up in 2005 by a group of concerned Capetonians under the patronage of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and comprises resourceful board members representing business and the hospitality and tourism industries. Similar StreetSmart organisations also run independently in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA – San Francisco and The Netherlands.
StreetSmart SA is registered as a Public Benefit Organisation as well as a Non-profit Organisation and ensures that every cent donated by diners goes towards social and educational upliftment projects for street children. StreetSmart's goal is to be part of the process of social normalisation and to encourage the public not to give money into the hands of a child as this keeps them on the streets. In essence, eating and donating at a StreetSmart restaurant is the responsible way to help a street child.
Issued by: GC Communications Issued on behalf of: StreetSmart South Africa
Gudrun Clark Contact: Reinette Retief - Administrator
Tel: +27 (0) 21 462-0520 Tel: 021 447 3227