StreetSmart Plett boosts two programmes for vulnerable kids 

Published: December 5th, 2017

Masizame Projects and Home from Home-Bitou Family Care running programmes for vulnerable children, has received R70,000 from StreetSmart Plettenberg Bay to boost community upliftment in the area. The StreetSmart funds were handed over at an event held at The Med Seafood Bistro.

Brenda Wall and Mike Scholtz (Masizame) on either side of and Melanie Burke (Chairman, StreetSmart SA)

Brenda Wall and Mike Scholtz (Masizame) on either side of and Melanie Burke (Chairman, StreetSmart SA)

The donation is part of over R1 million awarded nationally for the 4th consecutive year by StreetSmart SA, an organisation dedicated to helping vulnerable children rebuild their lives, through donations from partner establishments in the Western Cape, Garden Route, Gauteng and KZN.

Masizame offers food, a shower, life-skills training, mentorship and guidance to street children. This is followed up by intervention services with the goal of helping children to reach their full potential and become responsible contributing members of their communities. The StreetSmart donation will go towards the salary of a family reunification worker in 2018.

Home from Home-Bitou Family Care supports and supervises community-based foster care for orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children. The organisation believes that the best place for children unable to live with their birth families is in a small, community-based family unit. It helps establish and support homes for up to six children, run by a dedicated, well-supported caregiver. The StreetSmart funds will be used towards social worker supervision in 2018.

There are currently five establishments in Plettenberg Bay that have embraced StreetSmart’s vision to make a real difference to the lives of street children or children at risk of living on the streets. Funds are raised by adding a R5 donation to each table’s bill at participating restaurants. This donation is voluntary and diners are able to contribute more if they wish to.

Melanie Burke (StreetSmart SA) and Elisabeth Wenz (Home from Home- Bitou Family Care)

Melanie Burke (StreetSmart SA) and Elisabeth Wenz (Home from Home- Bitou Family Care)

“Several of our StreetSmart restaurants have felt an economic pinch in general and in particular, due to their commitment to fundraising efforts to assist with local fire relief victims which was a priority this year. However, those that were able to stay on board have been very active and continue to raise funding and awareness of the StreetSmart Plett initiative. Overall, there is positive momentum that should increase into 2018. We are looking for more restaurant, accommodation and wine tasting partners locally and if you are interested in becoming a partner, please contact me.” says Patty Butterworth, StreetSmart Coordinator in Plett.

Ice Palazzo, Nguni Restaurant, The Fat Fish, The Med Seafood Bistro and The Pie Shop offer their patrons the opportunity to give responsibly, rather than giving handouts directly to children, which inevitably keeps them on the streets.

“Through the generosity of our restaurant partners and other supporters we are able to continue to expand our national footprint, in spite of tough economic times. For the fourth time in a row, StreetSmart will be disbursing over R1 million to beneficiaries nationally enabling us to support 31 programmes. We are so excited to be able to continue this work not only through responsible giving via StreetSmart restaurants, but also through accommodation establishments and wine tasting venues and cellar doors.” says Melanie Burke, Chairman of StreetSmart SA.

StreetSmart partner establishments and their guests contribute generously to make a difference to the lives of vulnerable and street children in their local communities. Nationally this partnership has raised R1,120,000.00 during 2017, literally R5 at a time.

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.

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, drink and sleep is the responsible way to help a street child.

For more information or to make a donation, contact StreetSmart SA at Tel: 021 447 3227 email info@streetsmartsa.org.za or visit www.streetsmartsa.org.za.

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