R2 million boost for smile-a-child project
By Tando Mfengwana
09 October 2006
Cape Town’s Smile-a-Child project has received with a 2 million rand boost from the authorities.
The project designed to take homeless children off the streets, has been struggling to deal with the growing influx of street children.
The Weekend Argus reports that the project virtually came to a close, because of poor funding, but with the recent R2m injection the project can continue to prioritise on the increasing number of street children.
Officials estimate that for every child taken off the street, two more join the ranks of street children.
In Cape Town an estimated 40 percent of people living in the street are children, the number of street children in the CBD is said to have decreased, as this was the focus area, but NGO’s have warned that they might have moved to areas such as Muizenberg, Claremont and Sea Point.
Wesley Douglas spokesperson for the Deputy Mayor Andrew Arnolds is said to have said that since the Smile-a-Child project was launched about two years ago over 1 053 children were taken to care centres.
About 3 500 are involved in educational bridging programme so that they could be can be taken back to school, 569 street children have been reunited with their families.