Vehicle still needed for Sinethemba centre
A vehicle to transport the children back and forth still remains the biggest challenge for Sinethemba, an NPO that aims to encourage self-sufficiency among youth and to give them hope for the future.
This was evident at this year’s AGM held at the Old Gaol museum on 11 October. The organisation has been using an old bakkie to transport children and for the running of the centre.
Last year alone they spent R85 460 on the vehicle’s expenses and this year it was R60 489 – although less, it is still money that could have gone towards the purchase of a new vehicle, says director Michael Smith.
“We’ve been struggling with the bakkie for the longest time now. We’ve been appealing to organisations and businesses for donations but companies no longer sponsor vehicles these days. It is really a struggle.”
Councillor Mark Willemse advised the board members to start applying for financial aid from the municipality and focus solely on raising funds to buy a new vehicle instead of spending money on repairs. “For the next two years I think you should focus on getting funds for a vehicle: create awareness, approach all the big funders in town and you might even have a new vehicle in less than two years,” said Willemse, who also pledged his help.
A positive for the day was seeing the cash injection from StreetSmart SA, an organisation that raises funds for initiatives and programmes that support the greater process of social normalisation of street children, in partnership with restaurants, boosting the organisation’s funding.
Sinethemba deputy chair Joan Huskisson said, “On behalf of the board we’d like to thank StreetSmart SA for turning the funds from too little to just enough.”
Responding to this was Sue Mills from Belvidere Manor, who said, “We’re glad we’re making a difference. Adding R5 on your bill when paying for a meal is a nobrainer. I must say, though, it has become difficult to recruit other restaurants after the fires.”
* Smith is appealing to the public for assistance with procuring a new vehicle. If you would like to do that, please contact him on 044 375 0303 or 072 055 6917.
Sinethemba board members and staff gather during the AGM at the Old Gaol Museum on 11 October.