Walking 120km for Streetsmart SA

Melanie Burke getting ready for her walk in Nerja, a small coastal town in southern Spain.

Melanie Burke is preparing to do a gruelling walk to raise funds for Streetsmart South Africa (SA), a non-profit that helps other non-profit organisations take care of vulnerable children and youth.

Chairperson of Streetsmart SA, Ms Burke is taking on a 120km walk from Monday June 17 until Tuesday June 25 to raise money for her organisation.

Ms Burke, 50, who is one of the founding members of the Observatory based non-profit that started in 2005, will be doing this epic walk with her two friends, Jenny Wensing and Mariheca Otto.

The walk, which forms part of her spiritual pilgrimage, will take place in Spain, on the Camino Frances pilgrim route from Logrono to Burgos and will average around 20km a day.

Ms Burke has been living between Spain and South Africa with her family for the past five years.

She said StreetSmart SA helps 22 beneficiaries in 14 areas in the country and serves the most vulnerable in society. “

If we want to be part of the normalisation of the lives of children, we have to raise more money so that we can make a deeper local impact in the areas where we operate,”she said.

Streetsmart SA has assisted various places that assist vulnerable youth including the Amy Foundation, Ons Plek, School
of Hope, Cape Town Multi Service Centre and Home from Home.

“To keep StreetSmart SA running, we need to raise funds for administration. I aim to raise R50 000 through my pilgrimage. Every little bit helps,” said Ms Burke.

She is currently training for the walk to be mentally and physically fit. She has been doing a few 25km walks to get ready and will carry a backpack that weighs 10kg.

“The walk is well sign-posted so I don’t even have a map. I will be relying on myself as much as I can,” she said.

All the expenses for the trip was paid by Ms Burke herself and she said she and her friends will stay in daily accommodation while doing the walk, which will take over a week to complete.

If you would like to donate towards Ms Burke’s cause in raising more money for Streetsmart SA, a donation form is available on the organisation’s website at www.streetsmartsa.org.za/donation-form You can also email admin@streetsmartsa.org.za or call 021 447 3227 for more details.