KNYSNA NEWS - Instead of only considering their own needs during this cold winter season, Sinethemba Youth Development Centre decided to reach out to the homeless children and adults of Knysna and surrounds.
This came about when Michael Smith, Manager of Sinethemba, saw many street dwellers suffer as a result of the freezing weather conditions. Many of the homeless had nothing warm to eat, nor something warm to cover themselves with. "This action taken by myself and staff of Sinethemba formed part of our Child Protection Street Outreach Project. Our main focus is obviously the children as we work with street kids, but we thought, why should adults suffer?" explained Smith.
He said, "We sometimes do not realise how dire these homeless citizens' circumstances and needs are until we receive that unfortunate experience to view their struggles and misfortunes. It is heartbreaking to see these children freeze, hungry and alone, with no one to fight for them. We started this project to help the needy in our community as many sponsors have come to our aid. We also just want to give back to the community in light of us always being supported by the public."
Smith further said that it would be a blessing to many street dwellers should a generous citizen decide to establish a safe house in Knysna.
Sinethemba used their own funds to purchase blankets which they donated to a total of 93 homeless children and adults in and around the bushy areas in town on Friday, July 13. Two weeks earlier, they had also given soup to the homeless.
"Through launching this project, I saw that when the town appears to be asleep, those on the street are not. Some walk around wanting to stay warm instead of sleeping in dire conditions in one vicinity during a cold evening," said Smith.
He further said that he adopted a street dweller by providing clothes and food to this person on a daily or weekly basis. "One should realise that we have so much to be grateful for," concluded Smith.