Don’t stop giving but #GiveResponsibly

Bedfordview Community Police Forum member Leon de Bruin speaking at the meeting held for community stakeholders to address educating community members about donating responsibly.

Stakeholders from the Bedfordview and Edenvale communities united and launched the #GiveResponsibly campaign.

This comes after Child Welfare SA- Edenvale – warned community members in the August 29 edition of the NEWS, that beggars often rent children to gain sympathy from the community.

The campaign hopes to educate community members about giving money responsibly and donating funds to established charities.

Also read: Do not give money to beggars – Child Welfare

It was launched by Child Welfare SA- Edenvale, Bedfordview Community Police Forum and the concerned residents.

BCPF member Leon de Bruin explained that there are three dynamics to begging.

Stakeholders from the Befordview and Edenvale communities recently held a meeting to discuss how best to address beggars exploiting children within the community. Seen here are senior social worker for Child Welfare SA – Edenvale Celeste Thies, vice chairperson of Child Welfare SA – Edenvale Nikki van der Walt and Bedfordview Community Police Forum member Leon de Bruin.

He said the process consists of the giver (the community), the receiver (the beggar) and the reward (money).

“If we remove one of the three dynamics, there will be no problem,” said de Bruin.

He said beggars with children exploit them for financial benefits by playing on people’s emotions.

Vice-chairperson of Child Welfare SA – Edenvale, Nikki van der Walt said she believes people mean well when they give money to beggars.

Also read: Beggars arrested for rape of teenage girl

“I think people see beggars with children and feel a sense of guilt,” said Van der Walt.

Bedfordview resident Sherri-Lyn Croucamp said the beggars do not use the same children at intersections.

She said as the children get older, they are replaced with younger children.

“People think the child welfare is not doing their job but their hands are tied to a large extent,” said Croucamp.

“Child welfare is doing what they can.”

Stakeholders from the Befordview and Edenvale communities recently met to discuss how best to address beggars exploiting children within the community. Seen here are chairperson of Child Welfare SA – Edenvale Pieter le Roux, vice chairperson Nikki van der Walt, senior social worker Celeste Thies, Bedfordview resident Sherri-Lynn Croucamp and Bedfordview Community Police Forum member Leon de Bruin.

Croucamp said children are sometimes abused by the beggars exploiting them.

Previously, she assisted a young child who had been beaten by a beggar.

Croucamp found the girl crying on the side of the road.

She took the girl to a police station, and then to her mother in Bez Valley where she learnt that they were from Zimbabwe.

Croucamp said the mother did not provide a reason why her daughter was begging with another person.

“I offered to personally pay for them to go back to Zimbabwe, but they did not seize the opportunity,” said an emotional Croucamp.

Also read: Help the needy by supporting charity groups, not beggars

“The young girl was soon back on the street.”

De Bruin said when community members give donations of food and clothes they are sold or thrown away.

He added that some of the beggars use the money to buy drugs in Jules Street.

The senior social worker for Child Welfare SA – Edenvale Celeste Thies said the beggars are often foreign nationals or undocumented individuals.

“The South African government provides grants to its citizens. There should be no reason for them to beg,” she said.

Thies said the child welfare is unable to deal with undocumented individuals.

“The courts and children’s homes won’t deal with children who are undocumented.”

The process of begging includes three dynamics.

De Bruin said when beggars are arrested they only have to pay a fine and are soon back on the street.

“People need to wake up and realise what is happening,” said Croucamp.

She said community members have such generous hearts, but they need to help responsibly.

“When people give money they don’t mind who it goes to, sometimes the money goes to dubious characters or syndicates,” said de Bruin.

Also read: Bedfordview unites to help beggars

People should instead give to soup kitchens or child welfare where the money would be able to be used effectively to help the community.”

Some suggested organisations to donate to:

• Khanyisa Soup Kitchen – 011 452 6176 or 011 452 1135.

• Jenny Schmidt – 072 702 0311.

• Alice Soup Kitchen – 082 955 3303.

• Bedford Chapel – 011 616 7201 or 011 622 5744.

• Methodist Church Soup Kitchen – 011 455 2600.

• Tzu Chi Foundation – 011 782 6830.

• Bez Valley Anglican Church Feeding Scheme – 011 614 9226.

• Buddhist Centre – Rokpa Gauteng Soup Kitchen – 011 614 1948 or 011 624 2235.

• Church of The Blessed Sacrament – Assumption Convent School – 011 616 4008 or 011 616 5796.

• Joy Foundation – 084 587 8460.

  AUTHOR
Stephan Lehman

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