StreetSmart raises half a million for organisations helping street children

Tuesday, 8 December, 2009
GC Communications
StreetSmart SA, an organisation dedicated towards helping street children rebuild their lives through donations from restaurants in Cape Town and Franschhoek, has given R500 000 to chosen beneficiaries this year. This is R100 000 more than last year and brings the total funds raised since its inception in 2005 to over R2 million.
"For StreetSmart to raise the R500 000 this year meant that 100 000 people each gave R5 to make this happen. It is a fantastic thing," said StreetSmart SA's patron, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu during handing over ceremony in Green Point.

"We hear of awful things in our country but we forget that there are also beautiful things that happen. StreetSmart is one of these and the organisation is doing fantastic work," said Archbishop Tutu.

This year's four beneficiaries are Lean to Live, The Homestead and Ons Plek ("Our Place") in Cape Town who each received R100 000 and Youth Empowerment Action (YEA) in Franschhoek who received R200 000. All these charities are actively involved with social development and rehabilitation of street children. The cheques were handed over by Archbishop Tutu.

ArchbishopTutu thanked all the participating restaurants and expressed the wish to invite many more: "Please join this campaign especially now during this season for giving."

At the handover ceremony held at Learn to Live in Green Point, Archbishop Tutu was presented with a gift by Michelle, one of the girls from Ons Plek, for his supportive role and endorsement of the work of StreetSmart and its beneficiaries.

Currently 45 restaurants 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 the participating restaurants. This donation is voluntary and diners are able to contribute more if they wish to.

"We are deeply grateful for all the generous support and contributions each and every restaurant that has joined this initiative has made. It is because of these restaurants that we as an organisation can embark on making the lives of street children better and help to create a safe place for them to go to." said Margi Biggs, Chairperson of StreetSmart SA.

The StreetSmart funds raised this year will provide a much needed financial boost to ensure the success of the respective organisations and the safety of the children in their care. Learn to Live, a bridging school for street children, will use the money to fund panel beating workshop skills training.

Ons Plek, a shelter for street girls, will use the funds for social worker salaries, skills training facilitation and materials and transport fees. The Homestead, a shelter for street boys, will use of the money for its family reintegration worker salaries, a portion of social worker community and family worker salaries as well as transport fees. The newest addition to the StreetSmart SA initiative, Youth Empowerment Action, will use their funds to help with social worker salaries, street worker salaries, life skills facilitation and materials and transport costs.

As a parting message, Archbishop Tutu said: "Thanks to all those compassionate, caring people who put a smile on God's face."

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 SA, was set up by a group of concerned Capetonians 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 on (021) 418-0621, email streetsmart@eqweb.co.za or visit www.streetsmartsa.org.za.

Click here to view the list of StreetSmart participating restaurants.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Charmaine Germishuys of The Homestead
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Charmaine Germishuys of The Homestead

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