Street children benefit from the V&A Waterfront’s gift-wrapping initiative

Other initiatives that benefited include the Gender Justice Project, grassroots communities, and buskers

Street children’s charity organisation The Homestead received a welcome windfall today when the V&A Waterfront handed over a cheque for R50 322.10.

The money was raised over December 2020 through the small fee levied by the V&A Waterfront on its annual festive season gift wrapping initiative.

The money was handed over to The Homestead Director Paul Hooper today.

David Green, V&A Waterfront CEO said, “The V&A has enjoyed a long relationship with The Homestead, and we share their concern for the welfare of street children. We are really pleased that we could leverage our property to raise funds for The Homestead to carry out the incredible work it does. I must also mention how grateful we are to all of our V&A shoppers who generously contributed to this initiative – they made this donation today possible.

“We would also like to take the opportunity to say farewell to the outgoing director Paul Hooper before he retires, and to thank him for the dedication and passion he has always brought to the organisation.”

The Homestead aims to help street children to reconstruct their lives, and to provide prevention and early intervention services to children and families in disadvantaged communities.

Through its commitment to food security, the V&A Waterfront established a communal urban food garden outside its offices. Last year, the amount of produce surpassed six tons of organically grown herbs and vegetables were used in The Homestead kitchens in its 18 months of operation.


Left to right: Henry Mathys, V&A Waterfront Programme Manager: Social Inclusion, Paul Hooper, outgoing Managing Director The Homestead, Nqabakazi Mathe, incoming Managing Director The Homestead and David Green, CEO V&A Waterfront.

Other social development projects that the V&A Waterfront has been involved in over the 12 months of the pandemic include:

Creating temporary employment for 14 youth from The Homestead programme. They underwent training and were employed as ambassadors at Battery Park, at our December gift wrapping desks, and to manage COVID-19 registration desks at The Watershed and the V&A Waterfront’s offices. Four are still currently employed by the Waterfront.

Through the Justice Desk’s Mbokodo empowerment programme the Waterfront supports 32 girl survivors of gender violence and rape. The girls, all from Nyanga Township, are aged between 10 and 19. The Waterfront’s donations to the programme includes self-defence classes to boost their confidence.

During the pandemic the V&A spent R1.3 million on food security initiatives, ensuring that many communities across the peninsula received meals. By partnering with four restaurants, 40 small scale farmers, Ladles of Love and the Oranjezicht Farm Market, the Waterfront was able to set up the He(art) of Filling the Belly. The initiative was able to equip 12 kitchens which, together with our own kitchens, prepared 130 000 meals throughout the winter of 2020.

73 small grants were distributed totalling almost R600 000 through the V&A Waterfront’s Our Community programme. This programme focuses on grassroots community needs with a focus on GBV, Food Security and Housing & Homelessness.

96% of buskers are the primary source of income in their families, so a key focus for the V&A was supporting the 160 individuals on their busker programme. Each person received a once-off cash grant of R2 500 at the outset of the pandemic, and they received monthly food parcels to support a family of four until the end of November.

During the five months of the lockdown, the V&A Waterfront hosted monthly free online concerts featuring well known performers Marc Lottering, Jimmy Nevis, Prime Circle’s Ross Learmonth, Wandile Mbambeni, Acoustic Element, rapper YoungstaCPT, DJ Sir Vincent, graffiti artist Skubalisto, comedy team Kurt Schoonraad, Stuart Taylor, Mel Jones and Rob van Vuuren, Chad Simon.

During the livestreamed events, viewers and fans were asked to make donations towards social programs that the V&A boosted through its own cash grants. Overall R156 000 was raised for Ladles of Love and the Justice Desk.