street child

How can you best help the street child that you encounter on the street?

When confronted with a street child at your car window or on your way into a restaurant, you probably wonder what to do. Maybe sometimes you give something to get rid of the child or maybe you feel guilty about your own privilege. Is giving money on the street really helping at all?

Here’s what the Western Cape Street Children’s Forum says:

DOING GOOD.....Better

“We know you care. We know you want help, but PLEASE DO NOT GIVE money or any other direct support to children who beg. Giving money to children on the street who beg, park cars, or are part of a dance or music group encourages these children to stay out of school, leave home and become street children.

Begging promotes trafficking, exploitation and the abuse of vulnerable children, introduces children to street life, substance abuse and drug addiction. It also makes them vulnerable to sexual exploitation.

Giving direct support, such as food or clothing, does not help as it is sold or exchanged for drugs. It also keeps children out of the services set up to help them and affirms street life as the right choice.

The Western Cape has a comprehensive set of statutory and other support services – specialised organisations to assist chronically neglected, abused, exploited and vulnerable children drifting towards street life.

Begging offers children no hope and no future.

A child on the street is always a CRISIS – please report all unaccompanied children on the street to a Child Protection Organisations overleaf.

Please contact us, or your local organisation, to find out how your giving can make a positive impact.”

Western Cape Street Children’s Forum –

In short:
  • Do not give children begging on the streets any gifts or money – in the long run this keeps them on the streets
  • Make eye contact and greet them in a friendly manner. Ask them questions. They’ll move on if they don’t want to chat. Genuine concern is something money cannot communicate.
  • Rather give money to initiatives like StreetSmart SA. 100% of the funds raised by partners go to beneficiaries that deal directly with the problem.

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StreetSmart South Africa
Bank: Nedbank
Branch: Foreshore
Branch Code: 108 309
Account Number: 108 33 444 39

Reference: Name, Surname & Mobile number

StreetSmart South Africa
Bank: Nedbank
Branch: Foreshore
Branch Code: 108 309
Account Number: 108 33 709 95

Reference: Name, Surname & Mobile number

StreetSmart Homeless Children's Charity
Bank: Nedbank South Africa
Branch: Foreshore
Branch Code: 108 309 | Swift code:SZA JJ XXX
Account Number: 108 33 444 39

Reference: Name, Surname & Mobile number


021 447 3227 |

StreetSmart South Africa

P.O. Box 49
Green Point
8051, Cape Town

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100% of donations in partner establishments go to children’s programmes and none for administrative costs. GIVE RESPONSIBLY.