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StreetSmart Defies Relentless Challenges In Support Of Vulnerable Children

  • 4 min read

StreetSmart SA, an organisation dedicated to changing street children’s lives by supporting intervention programmes through donations from hospitality venues in the Western Cape, Garden Route and Gauteng, has managed to forge ahead in spite of the nationwide lockdown freezing the bulk of its income this year.

What should have been a year of celebrating StreetSmart’s 15th anniversary of making a difference, turned into a year of relentless challenges brought about by COVID-19’s devastating impact on StreetSmart’s major source of fundraising. Despite the 5-month lockdown of the hospitality industry, StreetSmart managed to raise a total R615 000 to support 35 organisations working with the country’s most vulnerable children for 2021.

StreetSmart’s Johannesburg beneficiaries, Kids Haven and MES-Youth Enrichment Programme received R35 000 towards their work with children at risk. Kids Haven has since 1992 provided shelter, protection, education, training, therapy and care for almost 5000 vulnerable and street children. MES has been active in the inner city since 1979 and the MES-Youth Enrichment Programme provides a safe haven for inner city children through after school programmes that provide at risk children with educational and recreational activities that empower them to not succumb to the pressures of their circumstances.

There are currently 12 establishments in Johannesburg 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 a patron’s bill. This donation is voluntary and donors are able to contribute more if they wish to.

“Life has changed for every single person this year and all of us had to learn to support those around us. StreetSmart provides a perfect way for us to pay that little bit forward to help children in need. We are delighted to be part of StreetSmart as every little bit can help so much, said Sven Crofton, Manager of The Kitchen | L’antico Giardino.

With this generous gesture, StreetSmart establishments and their guests are real change makers in their own communities.

“StreetSmart’s fundraising was severely impacted by the lockdown, but in spite of current financial pressures, we are still grateful to be able to disburse funds to support this life-changing work with vulnerable children. We continue to invite fundraising partners who would like to add the R5 donation at points of payment to become StreetSmart in their local communities and to partner with us to make a difference,” says Melanie Burke, Chairman of StreetSmart SA.

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, sleep, taste and enjoy 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

Below is the list of Johannesburg fundraising partners:

Balata @ The Fairway Hotel & Resort (Randburg)
Jessica’s @ Clearwater Mall (Roodepoort)
Jessica’s @ Eagle Canyon (Roodepoort)
Jessica’s Coppa Bar @ Eagle Canyon (Roodepoort)
Jessica’s @ Featherbrooke (Krugersdorp)
Jessica’s Coppa Bar @ Featherbrooke (Krugersdorp)
La Cucina di Ciro (Parktown North)
MDS Collivery (Selby)
So Yum (Hyde Park)
Stelle Restaurant (Sandhurst)
The Kitchen l’antico giardino (Lanseria)