How You Can Help Street Children by Choosing Where to Eat

Street Smart NGO“You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” – John Bunyan.

This is the quotation which features on the back of the Streetsmart brochure, the brochure I picked up subconsciously while bumbling around this year’s Good Food and Wine Show in Cape Town. I discovered it slotted into my goody bag the following day. I’m glad I did though, because I think Street Smart is onto something!

The organisation’s slogan is simple and well-intentioned: Helping street children. This is exactly what you can do by eating at a Streetsmart partner restaurant.

Essentially Streetsmart, which operates as an NGO, is a network of restaurants who have agreed to give back to South Africa’s street children. However, the message from Streetsmart is clear – giving money to street children only keeps them on the street.

Instead they have devised a system whereby participating restaurants add R5 to each table’s bill which then gets donated to official education, skills training and family reunification programmes which make a tangible difference to the lives of street children.

When you eat at a Streetsmart restaurant, you will find a small card on the table explaining how Streetsmart works. Patrons are able to donate more than the automatic R5 table fee and also given the option to opt out altogether.

The good news is that simply by choosing a participating restaurant for your night out, you can make a positive contribution to the lives of South Africa’s street children.

Currently the network of restaurants is strongest in the Western Cape, where Streetsmart is based. And better still, a number of these restaurants are listed on Dining-OUT!

Here are some of Streetsmart restaurants in the Western Cape:

La Mouette – Sea Point
Nonna Lina – Gardens
Societi Bistro – Gardens
Myoga @ The Vineyard Hotel – Newlands
Bodega @ Dornier Wines – Stellenbosch
Makaron @ Majeka House – Stellenbosch

And in Johannesburg

DW eleven-13 – Dunkeld West
Nonna Mia’s – Birnam
Licorish Bistro – Bryanston

For more listings and to get involved visit www.streetsmartsa.org.za

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