Four years ago a few citizens concerned about the ever increasing number of children at risk – particularly street children – started an organization to address this community issue.
Begging children on the streets of Knysna are taken to the fully equipped Youth Development Centre. The centre provides suitable facilities for hygiene, feeding, administration and teaching (adult basic education training). Social workers go into the parental backgrounds and reasons for the children being on the streets. They give daily instruction and counselling in preparation for their return to schools, family or foster care. There is also a crèche where under-school age children are prepared for school.
Since inception Sinethemba has rehabilitated over 50 children and youths and will, given the necessary financial support, continue its mission. However, tourists and the local community will continue to be approached by begging youngsters. Sometimes the begging proceeds are used for the purchase of food but, more often than not, sniffing glue and/or drugs. If you support Sinethemba’s endeavours please make a donation rather than hand-outs.