What should have been a year of celebrating StreetSmart’s 15th anniversary of making a difference, turned into a year of relentless challenges brought about by COVID-19’s devastating impact on StreetSmart’s major source of fundraising. Despite the 5-month lockdown of the hospitality industry, StreetSmart managed to raise a total R615 000 to support 35 organisations working with the country’s most vulnerable children for 2021.
StreetSmart’s Johannesburg beneficiaries, Kids Haven and MES-Youth Enrichment Programme received R35 000 towards their work with children at risk. Kids Haven has since 1992 provided shelter, protection, education, training, therapy and care for almost 5000 vulnerable and street children. MES has been active in the inner city since 1979 and the MES-Youth Enrichment Programme provides a safe haven for inner city children through after school programmes that provide at risk children with educational and recreational activities that empower them to not succumb to the pressures of their circumstances.
There are currently 12 establishments in Johannesburg that have embraced StreetSmart’s vision to make a real difference to the lives of street children or children at risk of living on the streets. Funds are raised by adding a R5 donation to a patron’s bill. This donation is voluntary and donors are able to contribute more if they wish to.
“Life has changed for every single person this year and all of us had to learn to support those around us. StreetSmart provides a perfect way for us to pay that little bit forward to help children in need. We are delighted to be part of StreetSmart as every little bit can help so much, said Sven Crofton, Manager of The Kitchen | L'antico Giardino.
With this generous gesture, StreetSmart establishments and their guests are real change makers in their own communities.
|“StreetSmart’s fundraising was severely impacted by the lockdown,
but in spite of current financial pressures, we are still grateful to be
able to disburse funds to support this life-changing work with
vulnerable children. We continue to invite fundraising partners
who would like to add the R5 donation at points of payment to
become StreetSmart in their local communities and to partner
with us to make a difference,” says
Melanie Burke, Chairman of StreetSmart SA.
Below is the list of Johannesburg fundraising partners, where you can Help Out by donating to StreetSmart on your bill:
Balata @ The Fairway Hotel & Resort (Randburg)
Jessica's @ Clearwater Mall (Roodepoort)
Jessica's @ Eagle Canyon (Roodepoort)
Jessica's Coppa Bar @ Eagle Canyon (Roodepoort)
Jessica's @ Featherbrooke (Krugersdorp)
Jessica's Coppa Bar @ Featherbrooke (Krugersdorp)
La Cucina di Ciro (Parktown North)
MDS Collivery (Selby)
So Yum (Hyde Park)
Stelle Restaurant (Sandhurst)
The Kitchen l'antico giardino (Lanseria)
Photographer credits: Darren Meltz
Home from Home PLETT Projects in collaboration with Bitou Family Care received funding from StreetSmart Plettenberg Bay, towards social worker supervision.
In one of the Bitou Family Care cluster foster care homes in PLETT, lived a boy, who through hard work and determination did his Matric last year. He has had his share of problems in his short life and got involved with the wrong friends. However, through his faith, a very powerful understanding of what‘s right and wrong, and his strong sense of justice, he pulled through this difficult time in his life.
He has a very supportive house mother and she assisted and motivated him wherever she can. After finishing his final exams in November, he moved to Cape Town to start his internship at a big church, as his wish is to become a pastor.
This boy is a very good example that even if life does not shower you with roses, you still have the chance and the opportunity to do something with it. To be thankful for what you have and do the best with it.
He told his social worker: “You know, I like to spend time with people who are having problems because through speaking to them and learning from them, I will be able to understand better and will one day be able to help others, because we are all just human and we should be good to one another.”
He is a very good example of the positive impact a stable home and a loving family can have in cluster foster care.
How wonderful and heart-warming to take a moment to focus on the impact of and reason behind all our StreetSmart fundraising efforts.
Though he is four years old, Mike is the size of a two-and-a-half-year-old, as his growth was stunted due to malnutrition. He is HIV+ and his health had been compromised as he hadn’t been consistently kept on anti-retroviral medication and taken to the clinic for check-ups. Mike’s mother had no interest in him and hadn’t visited him regularly over the years.
When she did eventually visit the sanctuary he’d been moved to, it was clear that she was only there to see if there was a handout. She had no real interest in him. More concerning was the change in Mike, who had opened up and became engaging, lively and chatty. Once he saw his mom, Mike became very anxious and withdrawn.
Finally a place was found at one of our Home from Home’s with a foster mom and dad. Before he was placed, his new foster parents visited him several times and got to know him. The baby sanctuary kept photos of his new foster parents so he would be familiarised with his new family by the time he came home.
On the day he went to court for the hearing to be placed in his new foster parents care, he ran straight up to his new mom and sat on her lap throughout the entire proceedings. He has settled so well into his new home, where he has a new foster brother aged four, and a baby sister aged. We are so glad to be able to offer Mike the chance of a new beginning in a loving family.
Home from Home in Kayamandi & Cloetesville received funding from StreetSmart Stellenbosch, towards funding a social worker position.
Happiness is…another good news story, highlighting the reality that a child is never helped in isolation; the parents and siblings always become part of the outreach and the holistic solution in putting the child on the road to recovery.
Kidstop’s focus is to connect with the children and youth, through street outreach and the Drop-in Centre. At Kidstop the children find a safe environment where they can learn informally and get motivated to prepare for mainstream schooling. These children are placed into mainstream schools with great success.
StreetSmart George provided YFC Kidstop with funding towards a child and youth care worker salary.
We held a Parenting Skills training workshop for those parents whose children were on the street and attending the Drop-in Centre. We had such a wonderful time of fellowship, encouragement, training, fun and amazing food as well. The eleven parents that attended the three days had benefited tremendously. They were given an assignment to implement what they had learnt and had to give feedback the following day. The parents then said that they understood how important it was to be a responsible parent. One parent said that the training came at the right time as she and her daughter were always fighting about everything. She said that she learned to communicate in a soft tone of voice and not to shout and that her daughter listened to her and she was able to listen to her daughter.
StreetSmart South Africa supports World Homeless Day as it highlights the plight of millions of homeless people across the world. We encourage local communities to be part of the solution by giving responsibly.
Acting as a conduit fundraising organisation, StreetSmart partners with restaurants, accommodation establishments, wine tasting venues and online businesses, to receive donations from patrons.
StreetSmart ensures that every cent donated goes towards supporting locally run programmes that prevent the vulnerable from becoming street children and help those already on the streets through reintegration back into schools or their families, to achieve long-term interventions.
WHERE STREET CHILDREN ARE CONCERNED, IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU:
HOW YOU CAN BE PART OF THE STREETSMART SOUTH AFRICA SOLUTION:
Be Part of The Solution, Give Responsibly
We are grateful for the real long-lasting societal change that StreetSmart funding enables through our beneficiaries’ programmes.
TLC Outreach Projects received funding from StreetSmart Cape Town, towards family reconstruction worker and field worker salaries, and related transport costs.
Debbie, aged 16, attends the T.L.C. Life Skills programme daily. She comes from a home of addiction and too found herself doing drugs, sex for companionship, and making wrong choices of friends.
Her brothers are all on drugs and she has never attended school. Sadly this was not a priority in her family, as substance abuse got priority.
Her brother was murdered eight months ago, which just compounded the trauma she is experiencing in her life.
Debbie has been faithfully attending our classes since 2019, and she learning how to read and write.
We are so proud of her!
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Account Holder: StreetSmart South Africa
Reference: DIDG & Mobile number
Account Holder: StreetSmart South Africa