GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but a national fundraising organisation has proved that one meal at a time keeps children off the streets.
This year, StreetSmart SA – a public benefit organisation as well as a nonprofit organisation dedicated to helping vulnerable children at risk of becoming street children, rebuild their lives through donations from restaurants and other establishments – has handed over R155 000 to their Plettenberg Bay and Knysna beneficiaries.
StreetSmart SA is a conduit fundraising organisation that partners with restaurants, accommodation establishments and wine-tasting rooms to receive donations from diners and guests in support of their own locally based beneficiary organisations. To raise the funds, diners and visitors volunteer to add R5 to their bill for the cause.
The handover of the funds recently took place at Nguni Restaurant in Plettenberg Bay and Featherbed Cruise Café in Knysna respectively.
StreetSmart SA chair Melanie Burke gave R60 000 to the Plett beneficiaries Home from Home – Bitou Family Care and Masizame Project, and R95 000 to Knysna beneficiary Sinethemba.
This grand effort is part of the total StreetSmart allocation of over R1-million for 2020, distributed nationally to 38 programmes working with children at risk.
The two Plettenberg Bay organisations will use the funds respectively for social-work supervision and the salary of a family reunification worker. Sinethemba uses the funds towards the salary of their auxiliary social worker.
Jacqui Carter-Johnson of Nguni Restaurant said the initiative is well received by diners. "It is important to know that the StreetSmart donations are actually being managed very well and stay in Plett. Moreover, giving beggars money is not doing them any favours, it just keeps them on the streets. So many people want to give extra – it is amazing how people ask for an extra R100 to be put on the bill," she said.
Establishments in Plett that form part of the initiative include Barrington's Kitchen Garden, Grand Africa Rooms & Rendezvous, Ice Palazzo, Nguni Restaurant, The Fat Fish, The Med Seafood Bistro and The Pie Shop.
"Since the launch of StreetSmart in Knysna, Sinethemba has benefited significantly from this community initiative. Thank you so much to the local committee, the participating StreetSmart restaurants and accommodation places, as well as the public who donate as little as R5. Your support helps many children stay off the streets and in school," said the centre's director Michael Smith.
The participating Knysna establishments include Caroline's @ Belvidere Manor, Chatters Bistro, Cruise Café, Earth & Fire @ Blackwaters Lodge, Featherbed Nature Reserve, Headlands House Guest Lodge, John Benn, Social Eatery @ Knysna Hollow Hotel, The Bell Tavern @ Belvidere Manor and Totties Farm Kitchen.
StreetSmart SA was set up in 2005 by a group of concerned Capetonians under the patronage of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. Similar StreetSmart organisations also run independently in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and The Netherlands.
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