How often do you get approached by people on the street asking for money? For most people, it’s a catch 22 because they want to help a person in need, but many homeless people have been known to spend money given to them on destructive habits, or throwing away food they are given. Thus, many people end up not giving anything, which seems harsh.

However, a local initiative based in Stellenbosch provides the perfect solution. Heartflow is a non-profit organisation that sells vouchers that can be exchanged for food, a blanket or even a night stay at a shelter. Stellenbosch resident Pip Ratcliffe took to Facebook to share her positive experience with this initiative:

“As far as possible we aim to preserve the mutual respect and dignity during encounters between people in need and the general public, whilst providing the opportunity to beneficiaries to receive further support,” Heartbeat says on its website.

“We believe in the inherent value of all people, providing holistic support through partnering with other non-profit organisations, discouraging a victim mentality, discouraging destructive habits and rewarding progress. Through giving a coupon, the beneficiary has the opportunity to receive help from partnering organisations (as specified on the coupon), but also help not specified also offered by our partners.”

Heartbeat coupons can be purchased for R10 at any of these these participating outlets.

In conjunction with the vouchers, Heartflow founder Charl Reyneke is also busy developing an app that will make these vouchers even more accessible and convenient for the givers and beneficiaries, as well as better for the environment. The app will be called Cheese and will be launched in the coming months.

For more information and how to get involved, visit here.

Picture: Pexels

Article written by

Anita Froneman