Over R1 million raised for street children through StreetSmart South Africa

Non-Profit Organisation (NPO), StreetSmart South Africa is proud to announce its top five donor restaurants of 2014.

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The restaurants, Licorish Bistro, Saxon Five Hundred/ Qunu, La Mouette, Savoy Cabbage and Myoga, led the group of 91 StreetSmart restaurants and collectively raised over R1 million for the NPO last year.  StreetSmart SA has distributed these funds to approved beneficiary organisations that aid the cause of street children.

Each of the Top 5 restaurants is thrilled by their achievement. Richard Chitukutuku, the manager of Licorish Bistro, commented: “First of all, I’d like to thank my team for helping us raise the R 70,660. I know this would not have happened if it wasn’t for Jacques, the head chef and owner of the restaurant. 

Along with our exceptional team of waiters we have done very well and have received positive feedback from customers. We’re planning to raise even more money this year!”

In Cape Town, the chef patron of La Mouette, Henry Vigar, said with much gratitude: “It is great to be first in Cape Town and third in the country for StreetSmart SA. Our staff and customers really believe in this wonderful charity, and we would like to thank everyone for contributing to it!”

StreetSmart SA was founded in 2005 with the objective of providing a means for people to help street children in a responsible way.

Restaurants that participate in the StreetSmart programme place a small card on the table that informs patrons that a voluntary R5 will be added to the table’s bill, should they wish to contribute.

All money raised through these restaurants is channelled to programmes that work to care for street children, be it through education, family reunification or skills training.

StreetSmart SA selects beneficiary organisations based on the sustainability and integrity of their programmes, and each is required to submit a detailed report of expenditure annually. Beneficiaries across the country include TLC Outreach in the Western Cape, Kids Haven in Gauteng and Masizame in Plettenberg Bay, to name but a few.

According to a Routledge survey conducted in 2010, there are many reasons why a child takes to the streets – one of the main factors being poverty at home.

While it is natural for people to wish to help by giving these children money and food, founder of Street Smart SA, Margi Biggs explains that this is not the answer: “The exploitation of street children is rife. Many impoverished youngsters are used by adults and forced to beg in order to get money – sometimes for food, sometimes for drugs or alcohol.

While the urge to give these children money is understandable, it in fact makes begging a viable alternative to seeking legitimate income and only perpetuates the poverty cycle.”

By selecting a StreetSmart restaurant, and making a donation, diners not only have peace of mind knowing that their money is going to a legitimate cause, but can also truly make a difference in the lives of those who are unable to help themselves.

Comments Melanie Burke, chairman of Street SA: "Our restaurants are the cornerstone of our organisation and we remain deeply grateful to them for their support. We’d like more restaurants to become active StreetSmart participants, enabling more diners to make a difference in the lives of street children, simply by where they choose to dine."

For enquiries contact StreetSmart SA on +27 (21) 418 0621 or email info@streetsmartsa.org.za. Alternatively, visit www.streetsmartsa.org.za for more information.

- Food24

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