GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - StreetSmart SA, an organisation dedicated to changing street children's lives by supporting intervention programmes through donations from hospitality venues in the Western Cape, Garden Route and Gauteng, has managed to forge ahead despite the nationwide lockdown freezing the bulk of its income during 2020.
What should have been a year of celebrating StreetSmart’s 15th anniversary of making a difference in the lives of vulnerable children, turned into a year of relentless challenges brought about by Covid-19’s devastating impact on StreetSmart’s major source of fundraising.
Despite the various phases of lockdown affecting the hospitality industry, StreetSmart managed to raise a total of R615 000 to support 35 organisations working with the country’s most vulnerable children for 2021.
Along the Garden Route, StreetSmart is operational in George, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. Collectively StreetSmart fundraising partners and their patrons raised R135 000 for their respective local beneficiaries, YFC Kidstop Drop-in Centre, Sinethemba Centre, Bitou Family Care and Masizame CYCC.
The funds raised to support these local organisations towards retaining a child and youth care worker, as well as social and auxiliary social workers working with vulnerable children.
“On behalf of the board, staff and the children that we serve, we are most grateful for the donation StreetSmart has made to the Kidstop Drop-in Centre for 2021,"says Jonathan Gelderbloem, project director at YFC Kidstop in George. "This project has changed so many lives of children and their families and through financial support, we can serve the youth on the street and offer them alternatives.”
Brenda Wall, director of Masizame in Plettenberg Bay, also expresses her gratitude: “The StreetSmart funding is of great significance to the children and their families in need of our services in Plett. Their support enables us to work towards positive impacts through parental skills training, life skills workshops and home visits to assist families on a one-on-one basis.”
StreetSmart SA is registered as a public benefit organisation as well as a non-profit organisation and ensures that every cent donated by guests 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, donating to StreetSmart where you eat, sleep, taste and enjoy is the responsible way to help a street child.
Funds are raised by adding a R5 donation to a patron’s bill. This donation is voluntary and donors can contribute more if they wish to. There are currently 16 establishments on the Garden Route that have embraced StreetSmart’s vision to make a real difference to the lives of children at risk of living on the streets, by allowing their guests to be real change-makers in their community.
“We are grateful to every patron of The Fat Fish who so generously contributed to StreetSmart,"says Simon Ash, owner of The Fat Fish Restaurants in Plett and George. "It is such a credible organisation and I invite all restaurants along the Garden Route to unite with us to give vulnerable and street children a future!”
StreetSmart invites more businesses to make a real, long-term difference in their local communities R5 at a time by becoming fundraising partners.
“StreetSmart’s fundraising was severely impacted by the lockdown, but despite current financial pressures, we are still grateful to be able to disburse funds to support this life-changing work with vulnerable children,” says Melanie Burke, chairman of StreetSmart SA.
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 and the Netherlands.Below is the list of Garden Route fundraising partners:
- 101 Meade Street
- Fairview Homestead
- Malvern Manor
- The Fat Fish
- Whispering Oaks Guest House
- Blackwaters River Lodge
- Caroline’s @ Belvidere Manor
- Chatters Bistro
- Headlands House Guest Lodge
- Featherbed Co
- Social Eatery @ Knysna Hollow Hotel
- The Bell Tavern @ Belvidere Manor
- Aquavit Guest House
- Barrington's Small Hotel and Restaurant & Brewery
- Nguni Restaurant
- The Fat Fish
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