StreetSmart diners in Somerset West give R60 000 for upliftment

Janet Pillai, StreetSmart; and Andre Putter, ACVV Bright Lights, at the cheque handover.

The ACVV Bright Lights, a Somerset West NGO running programmes for vulnerable children, has received R60 000 from StreetSmart Helderberg to boost community upliftment in the area.

The StreetSmart funds were handed over at an event held at Waterkloof Restaurant last week.

The donation is part of an allocation of over R1 million awarded nationally for the fourth consecutive year by StreetSmart SA, an organisation dedicated to helping vulnerable children rebuild their lives.

Since 1997, ACVV Bright Lights, a registered child and youth care centre and drop-in centre, assists high risk children in the Helderberg basin with reintegration services, and empowerment programmes as an alternative to them taking refuge on the streets. The StreetSmart funds will go towards the salary of a social worker and related transport costs in 2018.

“We want to express our heartfelt appreciation to StreetSmart for the allocation for 2018. This will ensure that we are able to provide a quality service to children in need. The motto of the ACVV comes to mind: ‘Together in service for the community,’” says Andre Putter, a social worker at Bright Lights.

Currently, multi-award winning Waterkloof Restaurant is the only restaurant in the Helderberg area that has embraced StreetSmart’s vision to make a real difference to the lives of street children or children at risk of living on the streets.

The partnership with Street-Smart gives their diners the opportunity to give responsibly in the restaurant, rather than giving handouts directly to children, which inevitably keeps them on the streets.

Funds are raised by adding a R5 donation to each patron’s bill. This donation is voluntary.

“Through the generosity of our restaurant partners and other supporters we are able to continue to expand our national footprint, in spite of tough economic times.

“For the fourth time in a row, StreetSmart will be disbursing over R1 million to beneficiaries nationally, enabling us to support 31 programmes.

“We are so excited to be able to continue this work not only through responsible giving via StreetSmart restaurants, but also through accommodation establishments and wine tasting venues and cellar doors,” says Melanie Burke, chairman of StreetSmart SA.

StreetSmart partner establishments and their guests contribute generously and are making a difference in the lives of vulnerable and street children in their local communities.

Nationally this partnership has raised R1 120 000.during 2017, literally R5 at a time.

“Donating is not about how much we give, it’s about the difference we make. StreetSmart makes this easy.” says Gregory Czarnecki, Chef de Cuisine, Waterkloof Restaurant.

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.