Melanie Burke is a founding board member of StreetSmart South Africa, which is a public benefit organisation that raises funds for organisations that support the rehabilitation of street children in Cape Town. Since 2005 the organisation has raised a significant amount of money for the express purpose of the following three charities, all of which have been in existence for between 15 and 20 years:
- The Homestead – a service provider to boys who live on the street, providing a drop-in centre, a shelter and a children’s home, a job creation scheme and a family mediation and reconciliation programmes;
- Ons Plek – a service provider to girls who live on the street – as above;
- Learn to Live – a non-formal educational programme that many street children attend. It provides an invaluable bridge between the street, the shelter and the school.
StreetSmart South Africa made its first donation of funds to be used by these organisations in their re-integration programmes at the end of 2006.