StreetSmart SA, the organisation dedicated towards helping street children rebuild their lives by collecting R5 donations through participating restaurants in Cape Town and surrounding towns, has raised more than R5,6 million since its inception in 2005.
This year alone, the StreetSmart initiative funded four social workers, one family reconstruction worker, one panel beating instructor and two aftercare teachers directly benefiting over 1 108 children through various beneficiary organisations in the communities of participating restaurants.
“In times when many people struggle to make ends meet I feel enormous pleasure, privilege and most of all gratitude that we as StreetSmart may continue to enjoy support not only from a widening base of participating restaurants but also an increasing number of individuals and companies who are adopting us as their favourite charity.
Through their generosity and input are we able to support the great work of our varied beneficiaries who are collectively doing outstanding work for those children who are the most vulnerable in our society,” said Nils Heckscher, Chairman of StreetSmart SA, at the 2012 handover ceremony in Cape Town.
A total of R675 000 raised this year, was distributed to beneficiaries working with children in need in Cape Town, Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and the Helderberg. All the NGO’s are actively involved with social development and rehabilitation of street children with the ultimate goal of family unification.
In Cape Town, StreetSmart funds are supporting the panel beating skills training programme at Learn to Live, social worker salaries at Ons Plek and Home from Home: Oceanview & Vrygrond as well as salaries for aftercare and family reconstruction at the Cape Town Multi Service Centre.
Franschhoek’s StreetSmart beneficiaries, Youth Empowerment Action and The Kusasa Project received funding towards social and community worker salaries and life skills education. The Stellenbosch beneficiary, Home from Home: Kayamandi & Cloetesville received funding towards a social worker salary and family unification services. In the Helderberg, the community based Nceduluntu Sanctuary Trust received funding towards the salary of a child caregiver.
Funds are raised by adding a R5 donation to each table's bill at participating StreetSmart restaurants. This donation is voluntary and diners are able to contribute more if they wish to. The 2012 Top 10 contributing restaurants were: The Big Easy, Le Quartier Français, Longhorn Grill, The Atlantic, Harveys at The Mansions, Myoga, Savoy Cabbage, Aubergine, Bodega Restaurant and Bread & Wine.
The number of participating restaurants now stands at 51, with six new restaurants embracing StreetSmart’s vision this year to make a real difference to the lives of children at risk, namely The Roundhouse, Roberto’s Signature Restaurant, Mint Restaurant at the Taj Hotel, Manna Epicure, Bistro Allèe Bleue and Café du Passé at the Franschhoek Protea Hotel.
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.
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, San Francisco and Australia.
For more information or to make a donation, contact StreetSmart at Tel: 021 418 0621, email
or visit www.streetsmartsa.org.za.