StreetSmart defies relentless challenges in support of Swellendam youth

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 during 2020.

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

StreetSmart has handed over R25,000 to the Swellendam Bursary Fund, collectively raised by the StreetSmart fundraising partners and their patrons. The funds raised are supporting promising local young people wishing to study at university or college, but who do not have the means to pay for their studies.

The local committee which furthers the work of StreetSmart Swellendam, comprises Cathy van Eeden, Francois du Rand, Mari-Louise van der Merwe and Marjolein van Mourik.

“The StreetSmart donation is a welcome injection in support of the Bursary Fund. We are extremely grateful for the donation because it enables us to provide bursaries to young people of Swellendam who merit financial support,” said Basil May, honorary president of Swellendam Bursary Fund.

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. There are currently 5 establishments in Swellendam that have embraced StreetSmart’s vision to make a real difference to the lives of young people, by giving their guests the opportunity to be real change makers in their own community. They are 18ZeroOne @ De Kloof Estate, Bergview Guesthouse, Elianthe Guesthouse, Field & Fork, La Sosta Restaurant and Powell House.

“StreetSmart is such an easy to run initiative and it makes a huge difference in the lives of children and young people – right here in our community. We would like to see many more Swellendam establishments participating to give visitors to our town the opportunity to give responsibly and not in the hands of young people who beg,” says Mari-Louise van der Merwe, Coordinator of StreetSmart Swellendam.

StreetSmart invites more businesses to make a real, long-term difference in their local communities R5 at a time by becoming fundraising partners.

“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.” 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


Issued by: GC Communications  
Tel: +27 (0) 21 462-0520 

On behalf of: StreetSmart South Africa  
Contact: Reinette Retief – Administrator
Tel: 021 447 3227 E-mail:

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