StreetSmart hands over R60k in aid of vulnerable children in Plett 

From l.t.r. Elisabeth Wenz (Bitou Family Care), Melanie Burke (StreetSmart SA) and Brenda Wall (Masizame)
Published: December 1st, 2019

StreetSmart SA, an organisation dedicated to helping street children rebuild their lives R5 rand at a time through donations from restaurants, accommodation establishments and wine tasting venues in the Western Cape, Garden Route and Gauteng, has handed over R60,000 to organisations caring for Plettenberg Bay’s most vulnerable children. The handover took place at Nguni Restaurant, in Plettenberg Bay.

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.

StreetSmart Eat, Sleep, Taste Responsibly

The two Plettenberg Bay beneficiaries are Home from Home – Bitou Family Care and Masizame Project. The organisations will use the funds respectively for social work supervision and the salary of a family reunification worker.

StreetSmart is a community initiative that raises funds for programmes that support social normalisation of vulnerable and street children making a real difference to their lives, in partnership with restaurants, accommodation establishments and wine tasting venues. Funds are raised by adding a R5 donation to each patron’s bill. This donation is voluntary and donors are able to contribute more if they wish to. With this generous gesture, StreetSmart establishments and their guests are real change makers in their own communities.

Amber Ollewagen and Alretha Van Rooyen (Barrington_s) with Melanie Burke (StreetSmart SA) centre
Amber Ollewagen and Alretha Van Rooyen (Barrington’s) with Melanie Burke (StreetSmart SA) centre

“Most of our guests love donating to StreetSmart, especially when they understand that the donations support local organisations that help street and vulnerable children in Plett. Our return guests often prompt us to remember to add StreetSmart to their bill and then they add much more than just R5. Our waiters push it and it is good to be part of this wonderful initiative,” says Amber Ollewagen, Manager at The Fat Fish Restaurant.

Jacqui Carter-Johnson Co-owner of Nguni Restaurant

Jacqui Carter-Johnson of Nguni Restaurant had this to add: “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.”

Barrington’s Kitchen Garden, Grand Africa Rooms & Rendezvous, Ice Palazzo, Nguni Restaurant, The Fat Fish, The Med Seafood Bistro and The Pie Shop have all embraced StreetSmart and are making a difference in their community.

Eat, Sleep _ Taste Responsibly

“With the help of our generous supporters, StreetSmart continues to stand out as an important conduit of much needed funding for our beneficiary organisations. In spite of current financial pressures making it harder for people to donate, StreetSmart will be disbursing over R1 million to beneficiaries nationally for the sixth consecutive year, enabling us to support 38 programmes. We are so excited to be able to continue this work through responsible giving and we invite restaurants, accommodation establishments and wine tasting venues to become StreetSmart in their local communities,” says Melanie Burke, Chairman of StreetSmart SA.

Give Responsibly via StreetSmart

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 or visit

Photos courtesy of Kate Maclean