KNYSNA NEWS - Knysna diners seem to be some of the most generous in the country as local restaurant Chatters Bistro managed to secure a spot among the top contributors to the StreetSmart South Africa initiative last year.
StreetSmart SA is a conduit fundraising organisation that partners with restaurants, accommodation establishments and wine tasting rooms, to receive donations from diners and guests to support their own locally based beneficiary organisations.
In this way, locally run programmes that prevent the vulnerable from becoming street children, and help those already on the streets through reintegration back into schools or families, can be funded.
Helping, R5 at a time
To raise the funds, diners can volunteer to add R5 to their bill for the cause.
Last year, StreetSmart restaurants and their diners raised more than R1.2-million nationally. The top five contributing restaurants were the Savoy Cabbage in Cape Town which raised R113 965; La Mouette in Cape Town which raised R95 322; Foliage in Franschhoek which raised R59 700; Chatters Bistro in Knysna which raised R40 461 and Nonna Lina in Cape Town which raised R40 020.
StreetSmart chair Melanie Burke says the initiative has recently branched out to include wine farms, guest houses and hotels.
Local organisations benefit
“The decision developed organically at the request of owners of wine farms, guesthouses and hotels. In addition to the 94 restaurants throughout South Africa, guests at an increasing number of wine tasting rooms, B&Bs, guesthouses and hotels are now also able to make a contribution.
"All funds raised support organisations working with street children within the area where the establishments are located,” Burke said.
StreetSmart SA was set up in 2005 by a group of concerned Cape Town residents 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, Germany and The Netherlands.
The responsible way
StreetSmart SA is a registered public benefit, nonprofit organisation and ensures that every cent donated goes towards social and educational upliftment projects for street children.
Their goal is to be part of the process of social normalisation and to encourage the public not to give money to a child as this keeps them on the streets. In essence, frequenting and donating at a StreetSmart establishment is the responsible way to help a street child.
Knysna Tourism chair Elmay Bouwer comments, "I love the Streetsmart concept. It makes me happy to know that every R5 Knysna restaurants raise goes towards our own Sinethemba Youth Development Centre and that the money is used to empower our youth.
"From a tourism perspective, our visitors from Germany and the Netherlands also get to visit the centre on our township tours, so they can actually see and experience what their contribution is used for. Well done, Chatters Bistro on being in the top contributing restaurants!"
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