Restaurants help raise money for children

Melanie Burke of StreetSmart and comedian Nik Rabinowitz at the charity event for StreetSmart.

StreetSmart SA, an organisation dedicated to helping street children rebuild their lives through donations from restaurants in the Western Cape, Garden Route and Gauteng, handed over R600 000 to their Cape Town beneficiaries for 2017.

This is part of an allocation of more than R1 million raised nationally for the third consecutive year by StreetSmart SA with the balance to be distributed in the other regions later this month.

The Cape Town beneficiaries are Cape Town Multi Service Centre; Home from Home – Masiphumulele, Ocean View and Westlake; Learn to Live; Ons Plek, T.L.C. Outreach Projects and School of Hope – Thembalitsha Foundation.

There are currently 31 restaurants in Cape Town which support the StreetSmart programme.

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, chairwoman of StreetSmart SA, said: “StreetSmart, through the work of our beneficiaries, provides opportunities to empower street children and other vulnerable children in our communities to live viable lives. Through the generosity of our restaurant partners and other supporters we are able to continue to expand our national footprint. For the third time in a row, StreetSmart will be disbursing over R1 million to beneficiaries nationally. We are so excited to be able to continue this work through responsible giving via StreetSmart restaurants.”

Madeleine Thornhill, principal of Learn to Live School of Skills, one of the selected StreetSmart beneficiaries for 2017, added: “I could write books about the impact that StreetSmart funding has on our children. What stands out for me is that our learners, who come from impoverished, gang infested areas with little to no hope of a better future, get an opportunity to escape from their environment. Through the life skills and vocational training that we offer, they have a chance of a better future. With basic skills in panel beating these young people can find employment and break the generational cycle of poverty in their families. Thank you so much.”

Harald Bresselschmidt and his team at Aubergine Restaurant have been participating since 2009. “We’re grateful to StreetSmart for providing a simple and easy way to contribute towards children in need. Many guests are happy to help, but not sure how and would rather channel donations through an audited organisation than give to kids on the street. R5 really is such a small amount to ask, but all the R5’s add up in the end to a substantial and helpful sum of money. We’re very happy to be able to play a small part in facilitating the valuable work that StreetSmart does,” said Mr Bresselschmidt.

StreetSmart SA was set up in 2005 by a group of concerned Capetonians under the patronage of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, with its board members representing business and the hospitality and tourism industries.

For more information or to make a donation, contact StreetSmart at 021 447 3227 or email or visit