Well done to local organisation StreetSmartSA who are not only celebrating their 15th anniversary of changing children’s lives but they have also made a huge impact on fighting hunger in South Africa.
Founded in Cape Town in 2005 under the patronage of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, StreetSmart SA has raised R11,6 million over 15 years in aid of 31 organisations caring for street children and children at risk of living on the streets. Donations are obtained through partnerships with restaurants, accommodation establishments and wine tasting venues in the Western Cape, Garden Route and Gauteng.
Spearheaded by Margi Biggs with a group of dedicated and resourceful board members representing business, hospitality and the tourism industry, StreetSmart SA was based on similar ‘dine and donate’ initiatives in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and The Netherlands. Their goal was to encourage the public not to give money into the hands of a child as it keeps them on the streets but to give responsibly and become part of the process of social normalisation.
Funds are raised by adding a voluntary R5 donation to each patron’s bill in StreetSmart partner establishments. These donations are disbursed annually to beneficiary organisations involved in education, skills training and family reunification of vulnerable children.
Starting from humble beginnings in June 2005 with 10 Cape Town restaurants raising R1 644, StreetSmart has grown to 100 partner establishments and has disbursed over R1 million per year for the past six years to beneficiary organisations. Expanding steadily from year to year, StreetSmart is currently represented in 12 towns and cities in the Western Cape, Garden Route and Gauteng.
Communities where StreetSmart partner establishments are situated benefit directly from this initiative as all donations received stay in the area and are utilised for local upliftment programmes.
“Over the past 15 years, I have constantly been reminded of people’s generosity. South Africans really care for those in need, they just need to know how to help. StreetSmart has shown how easy it is to make a difference,” says founder Margi Biggs, who thanked the many restaurants and volunteers who have travelled along this 15-year journey with StreetSmart.
To celebrate this incredible 15-year milestone, StreetSmart acknowledged their Top 15 contributors for 2019 at a function in Cape Town: La Mouette, Gold Restaurant, Nonna Lina, Moyo Zoo Lake, Chatters Bistro, Foliage, The Fat Fish – Plett, Wellington Wines, Nguni Restaurant, Jordan Restaurant, Stacked Diner, Aubergine, Belvidere Manor, Social Eatery @ Knysna Hollow, and Moyo @ Kirstenbosch.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be at the top of StreetSmart’s annual contributor’s list. Thank you to each and every diner who helped out by eating out,” said Mari Vigar of La Mouette.