Founder of StreetSmart SA, Margi Biggs (left). StreetSmart educates communities to not give money to street children as this keeps them on the streets – there are other, more effective ways to help them.(Images: StreetSmart SA) MEDIA CONTACTS • Margi Biggs Founder, StreetSmart SA +27 82 770 1440 RELATED ARTICLES • Fighting hunger on wheels • Spotlight on SA’s street children • Help for homeless children • Taking the internet to townships • Township tours for a good cause • Taking ballet to township kidsCadine PillayMost of the street children in South Africa are there as a result of poverty, neglect and violence. While we as individuals cannot change the socio-economic issues related to poverty, we can change the life of a street child every time we eat in a restaurant – this is where StreetSmart SA comes in.StreetSmart SA is a non-profit organisation dedicated to social re-integration and upliftment as it rallies restaurants to become involved in helping to rebuild the lives of street children at risk in the city.Paying it forwardStreetSmart SA raises money through participating restaurants in Cape Town, Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, Helderberg, Somerset West, Paarl, Swellendam and now Johannesburg, by asking diners for a voluntary R5 (US$0.55) donation to be added to their bill.All the funds raised in this way then go to StreetSmart SA’s beneficiaries for social re-integration projects; to date an amount of over R6-million ($664 000) has been raised and there are currently 68 StreetSmart restaurants running this worthy initiative in these mostly Western Cape towns.In 2012, StreetSmart restaurateurs and patrons raised R675 000 ($75 000), funded four social workers, one family reconstruction worker, one panel beating instructor and two aftercare teachers directly benefiting over 1 108 children through various beneficiary organisations in the greater Cape Town and Winelands area.The beneficiaries of StreetSmart SA work with the children to educate and rehabilitate them and reunite them with their families.They also put considerable effort into raising awareness of the issue, and educating South Africans on how they can assist by not giving money to street children, as this feeds habits of crime, drug abuse, glue sniffing and other wrongdoings. Donating at a StreetSmart restaurant is one way of responsibly helping a street child.‘Society needs to take care of the weak’Shoprite Checkers 2012 Woman of the Year Margi Biggs, the dynamic owner of a travel company called Specialised Tours, founded StreetSmart SA in Cape Town in 2005; it was then that she came across many children living and begging on the streets.“I felt awful and thought to myself, this isn’t right. As a society we need to take care of the weak,” Biggs says. After seeing how StreetSmart worked in the UK, Biggs propositioned them to form a similar organisation in South Africa based on their model.She started the venture aware that the streets of Cape Town are home to a rich mixture of historical buildings and cultural heritage sites, as well as beautiful parks and gardens, but also that these very streets are the only home for many children.“These children are defenceless victims of brutal violence, sexual exploitation and sex tourism, abject neglect, chemical addiction, human trafficking and human rights violations,” she says. “Urgent interventions are needed to get them off the streets and reunite them with their families.”Johannesburg gets street smartStreetSmart moved to Johannesburg in 2013, and already six restaurants have signed up: Five Hundred and Qunu at The Saxon, Balata at The Fairway Hotel & Golf Resort, dw eleven-13, the Griffin Craft Beer Gastropub, and Red Rabbit.The newest beneficiary is a homeless shelter called Twilight Children in Hillbrow. Twilight Children was established in 1983 and works with children and young adults in an effort to integrate them into mainstream society.It runs development programmes which give them skills, build their confidence and enable them to become valuable citizens.Other StreetSmart beneficiaries who are all involved with social development and rehabilitation of street children are Lean to Live, Ons Plek, Home from Home, Ocean View and Vrygrond, Cape Town Multi Service Centre, Youth Empowerment Action, and Nceduluntu Sanctuary Trust.Educating the communityAccording to Biggs, StreetSmart SA works on a strictly funded model, with only one employee, and is fully sponsored. Recipients of the organisation are also required to submit report backs and keep StreetSmart informed of how donations are used.“None of the money raised from the public through the restaurants is used for StreetSmart SA’s own operational requirements as corporate funding is sought on an ongoing basis,” she adds. When corporate funding for administrative costs falls short, Biggs initiates fundraising projects. She has personally twice walked the Camino St Frances from St. Jean-Pied-du-Port near Biarritz in France to Santiago de Compostela in north-west Spain – a distance of 800 kilometres – to raise funds for her organisation. Her goal for StreetSmart SA is to take the initiative nationwide. She is also currently working on two job creation projects in the arts and culture field that will create employment for people who are talented in the visual and performance arts.
03 May 2016A South African company was named the best children’s publisher on the continent at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Italy.Bumble Books of Noordhoek was among many publishing houses, publishers’ associations and other book institutions that took part in this annual event, which ran from 4 to 7 April 2016.Robin Stuart-Clark, founder and publishing director at Publishing Print Matters and Bumble Books, told radio station Cape Talk that the group had competed against the best children’s publishers across Africa. Countries such as Ghana, Guinea and Benin had been represented.To Stuart-Clark, the award belonged to the group’s illustrators who were doing extraordinary work. “We have nothing to apologise for, we are up there with the best,” he said.Other winnersAndersen Press won the fair’s Children’s Publisher of the Year prize in the European category, according to The Bookseller. The award was for “publishers who have most distinguished themselves for their creative and publishing excellence over the year, showing originality as well as professional and intellectual skills”.There are also awards for Central and South America, North America, Asia and Oceania.According to its website, Publishing Print Matters publishes books on South African art, craft and heritage “with a particular focus on those artists, craftspeople and individuals who have been overlooked yet made an impact on South African culture: they have stories to tell and vision to share that can empower our youth and restore pride in our collective heritage”.Bumble Books is its illustrated children’s book imprint. It showcases new South African illustrators and authors, with an emphasis on fun and entertainment. It publishes illustrated children’s books showcasing new South African illustrator- authors internationally.Guests at the Italian book fair tweeted their enjoyment of the event:Live painting en @BoChildrensBook #BCBF16 pic.twitter.com/Jq3qvOhzNv— Sara Fratini (@sarafratini) April 5, 2016So inspiring to walk around #BCBF16 and see all the worldwide trends for children’s illustration! pic.twitter.com/Qi5ayWlOwS— The Bright Group (@Bright_Group) April 5, 2016South Africa.info reporter
OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTChris Briley: Hey everybody, welcome to the Green Architects’ Lounge podcast. I’m your host, Chris Briley.Phil Kaplan: And I’m your host, Phil Kaplan. How’re you doing, Chris?Chris: I’m doing absolutely great, Phil. Yourself?Phil: Excellent! I’m doing great. I noticed it was nice and chilly for the first time last night. Did you see frost?Chris: I don’t know if I saw frost, but dude, I felt it. I woke up and took the kids out to the bus and went “Whoa!” Went out in a T-shirt and was like “This bus better hurry up!”Phil: Welcome to fall. It’s all downhill from here.Chris: So they say. Fall season brings what?Phil: It brings apples — Am I right?Chris: Let’s go right to the cocktails. Not only is it fall, but we got the news that Steve Jobs passed away. Our cocktail is in honor of Steve Jobs and also fall. It’s called the Northern Spy.Phil: Man, it’s hot.[The guys share the recipe.]Phil: It’s getting a little chillier. Aren’t we glad we live in warm homes, Chris?Chris: Yes, we are. Energy-efficient one.Phil: And we’re glad we’re building them and designing them…Chris: That’s right. The title of this podcast says that we’ve designed you a great house; now we have to make it a reality. There’s the challenge of bringing in a builder, controlling the budget and schedule, and making this thing happen. Not the easiest thing in the world to do…Phil: And then there’s the inconvenience of having a client involved… I mean, someone’s gotta pay for it. No, really, we love our clients — especially when we have a great team. Spectacular things happen — intense joy and creation. One of the things we can talk about is what defines success.Chris: So, what’s a successful project?Phil: The number one thing is a happy client. If the client is happy and they’re going to recommend you after the fact, and they’re going to live in this house…Chris: You’ll sleep at night if you know the client is happy.Phil: It also helps if the architect is happy and likes the design.Chris: If it’s one you’re passionate about and excited to show your friends, then that is special.Phil: Things come together, and the client shares your goals and believes in your vision. It also helps if you make a little money on it. And the builder has to have great satisfaction — he’s out there all the time. He also has to make money on it.Chris: And be proud of what he’s done. The ultimate successful project, then, is happy client, happy architect, happy builder.Phil: We can get there. It’s been done. Does it happen most of the time? I’d say not. We’re in a tricky profession. We’re here to try to resolve some of these issues. And in Part 2, we’ll talk directly with some builders to figure out what we need to do to come together as teams and make it work better.Chris: Clients want to understand the process. Lots of times they come to us and say they’ve never hired an architect before. And they’ve never built anything before, never hired a builder before. Part of the architect’s job is to demystify the process. It’s not a magical thing that happens behind some green curtain. There are real, tangible people involved who care about the whole process.Phil: It’s true. They come to us because we’re good at what we do. We see things in a different way because that’s how we’re trained. But, my little tangent is this: I personally think architects have a PR problem. People think our egos and their dreams are going to be exceeded and cost them a lot of money, and they’re not going to be in control of the process. That’s sad. Our goal is to be a trusted advisor.Chris: As architects, we’re a different profession than we were 20 years ago.Phil: Absolutely. The idea of a master builder is nice, but we need a team to do all these things.Chris: So, let’s talk about that. The team member we’re going to talk about most right now is the builder. In the old days, Phil, you’d hire this master builder/architect who’d draw your plans, write your specs, hand them to you, and say, “This is the house you want.” And you’d take all that to every builder in town to get their budgets, and then you’d pick one. It’s called “going out to bid.”And commercially that still happens; the stakes are higher and you need that level of control. But with a house, the problem with that is the client is going to be paying the architect to protect them. If you have a good builder who’s on board and part of the team, though, you don’t need protection. The times have changed.Phil: Especially when we talk about sustainable homes.Chris: Speaking of green, I’d like to not introduce Dan Morrison. He was going to travel here.Phil: Dan is the executive editor of Fine Homebuilding and GreenBuildingAdvisor. We are very excited to almost have had him as a guest.Now that we’re doing these green homes…Chris: They take a higher level of focus, and not just from the builder. It’s even more important that the builder gets this stuff right. So choose the builder ahead of time.Phil: In integrated design, we get the builder on board early rather than go out to bid. We need a team to make the sure the details we’re drawing are going to be built properly. And also, it’s a check for us. We’re architects; we don’t swing hammers. If we’re not careful and screw this stuff up, it’s a huge risk for green building in general.I’ll tell you how we bring a builder in. Typically, there’s a schematic design, and then there is design development when pricing is set. It’s certainly before construction drawings; we don’t go out to bid. We advocate getting the drawings done to a certain level to get the builder to set a price within 10 to 15 percent. We just ask for an estimate. Then we ask the client to hire that builder, and then we form a team.We’ve had issues with bringing builders in really early in the process, having to do with cost control. They offer an estimate based on sketches; they’re hired, and then we do the construction drawings. The building costs then go way out of control.Chris: Clients listening to this say, “That’s other people, not me.” Well, it is you. It would be me, if I were building my house. There’s a compulsion for everyone to hear what they want to hear. Let’s say the builder quotes a house between $250,000 and $400,000. That’s a massive range; if they quote you that, it practically means nothing. The client walks away thinking, “All right, if we do everything the architect says, we’ll be at the low end of that range.”Phil: If we bring builders on too early, the client thinks they’ve lost the competitive advantage. They have a little bit of regret.Chris: So, what do you do? On a recent project, in the design development phase, we hired two builders and paid them to come up with a ballpark price, within 15 percent. We got plans, elevations and a good wall section for a real complicated project, but we had to make allowances. We got two prices back, but you’re not choosing based just on numbers, but on a relationship. We hired one of the builders and said “sorry” to the other one, but at least they got paid a little.We’re afraid of builders offering up numbers too soon that are not based on enough information — we need plans, elevations, a good wall section, maybe schedules.Phil: Sometimes we push it to structural information — framing plans — to get more accurate bidding. In Part 2, we’ll talk to a few prominent builders to get their point of view.Chris: And we’ll make fun of them.Phil: It’ll be really interesting to see what kind of alignment there is between our thoughts and their thoughts. If we’re not completely aligned, then we need to work on that.Chris: It’s all about managing expectations. It’s all about being clear with the client and the builder.Phil: We can’t reiterate enough about clarity at the outset for program and scope, schedule, and budget. Have them written down somewhere. Be honest every step along the way.Chris: It’s like the key to a successful marriage — communication. Of course, really, it’s sex and money. Which is not the same with building and design; I’ve not had that project yet.Let’s leave it here. In Part 2, we’ll play “Three Questions” with the builders.Sheila, let’s bring in Jesse to play “What’s Bothering Jesse Thompson?” With us now is architect Jesse Thompson.Jesse Thompson: Why do we spend so much time talking about walls? With each other, with clients, with builders, probably code officials.… Yeah, there are more walls than roof in a house. Maybe they are important.Phil: I get it. When you’re talking to a colleague about a house, they say “It’s got R-40 walls.” We always begin with the walls. What did you get in the walls? I’ll judge you from there.Jesse: In Passivhaus consultant training, we talk about moisture profiles in walls. We get clients with detailed lists of technical aspects they want in their buildings. Well, let’s go back and talk about the house first, then about what’s the right thing to do. We get clients who are as quality obsessed about the guts of their building as they are about …Phil: It’s a paradigm shift.Jesse: Well, they’re coming fast. They sit up all night reading GreenBuildingAdvisor before they talk to anyone. It’s playing defense on their part; they realize there are good buildings and crappy buildings.Phil: Remember when low-e first became a big thing? People didn’t understand it. They just thought they were getting crappy windows if they weren’t low-e. Now they want more insulation in the walls.Jesse: If someone wants a SIP house, we can talk about 10 different ways of doing the walls. We don’t spend as much time talking with clients about the roof or the basement or the foundation in the same way. Let’s talk about the whole building, not just obsess about the walls. The framing is 25 percent of the cost. We still have 75 percent of the house to talk about — like nontoxic materials. There are other things going on here, to try to get a building ready.Chris: Jesse, this segment’s starting to bother me. See you next time. Subscribe to Green Architects’ Lounge on iTunes—you’ll never miss a show, and it’s free! It’s one thing to design a house, and it’s another thing entirely to turn that design into a physical reality. In this episode, we kick back with an autumn cocktail (the Northern Spy) and talk about the process of bringing on a builder and the challenges of keeping relationships, quality, cost, and expectations managed along the way.Hey, do you want to talk about wall sections? Too bad. Jesse joins us for our “What’s Bothering Jesse?” segment, and he lets us know that he’s a little tired of all the attention that walls command from the green community. So, we’ll talk about that instead.The Highlights:The Northern Spy: Fresh apple cider makes this is a great cocktail for the fall season. It also makes a great beverage for toasting one of the great creators of our time, Steve Jobs, who passed away on October 5th. Here’s to you, Steve, without whom we would likely not even have a podcast. Also, I failed to mention in the podcast that this is a fairly modern drink, and as such, credit can and should be given to its creator Josey Packard of Alembic in San Fransisco.What defines a successful project? A happy client, to be sure, but also a happy architect and a happy builder.The architect’s public relations problem. We discuss how the architect is widely perceived by the public and builders.What’s the process? You could go out to bid, but we think a team approach is better.Bringing the builder in early? Here are the pros and cons. Pro: You get some cost control and input on methodology, but this must come with some understandings. Con: Did you lose your competitive advantage? What assurance do you have that you are getting the best bang for your buck?Have and set clear expectations. Like a good marriage, good communication is critical.What’s bothering Jesse? Walls! (Bet you didn’t see that coming.) RELATED CONTENT Integrated DesignThinning the Herd: How to Pick the Best Eco-BuilderDon’t forget to check back in later for Part 2, where we play “Three Questions” with three prominent green builders and get their input on this subject. Also, we tip our hats to some fellow Mainers for the work they’ve done, and of course Phil finishes with a song you should be listening to while you design.Thanks for listening. Cheers.
Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Rooney Reeves is a Technical Geek. She has expertise in cloud computing, data science, entrepreneurship and project management. Currently, she is working in web & mobile app development company – etatvasoft.com she likes to play chess and explore new places. Also, she’s a person with high spirit and fond of social activities. You can click here to know more about her company. Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Follow the Puck What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#Augmented Reality#Internet of Things#mobile apps Related Posts Rooney Reeves Used creatively in hitherto unheard of sectors, the Internet of Things (IoT) shows no sign of slowing down especially in the mobile app realm. As never before in time — it’s ubiquitous. You can explore the Android or Apple store all by yourself. Whether it’s about booking a cab or ordering some food, making a purchase — mobile apps are considered no less than a wallet.Speaking about the next big thing in town — sometimes we fail to think big enough with AI and IOT.Not thinking big enough is not due to lack of imagination; it’s because of the pure lack of observation. Determine in your life — to keep the future within sight — so that you don’t have to keep thinking upon what’s coming up next.The rare combination of the Internet of Things and Mobile Apps continues to be hot on our heels these days across the globe.IoT with Mobile App DevelopmentIoT app development is no longer a buzz-word; it means a subsequent demand for mobile apps for such type of devices seems to ride a wave day in day out. Right from energy to healthcare, retail manufacturing, agriculture — endless real-life IoT implementations can be found. In a nutshell, we all seem to be heading towards smart retail, connected cars, wearable devices, smart cities, etc.Physical devices connected to the internet and the usage of smartphones seems to gain popularity in no time. It may quite interest you to know that one can have complete control over their features that are offered by these gadgets.Here are some specific points that emphasize on why there is a need for AI and IoT.#1 Offers personalized experience to users.Have you wondered why mobile apps are found in widespread adoption? It’s because they work as dedicated digital assistants for the users. A variety of pieces of information is collected to give custom responses to the end users. This is the information that is generated during customer usage. Each usage has interactions or commands that are being used with the apps. Because of the data, the apps are becoming smarter and their responses tend to become more accurate.In fact, it can leverage real-time data and location-based services to deliver an enhanced personalized experience.#2 Reduced app development time.Right from personal and professional lives, the roots of IoT and mobile apps have given its Midas touch like never before. IoT allows developers to complete building an app in much less time, saving them significantly on the efforts involved. It may quite interest you to know that with the help of IoT several innovative and more engaging features in the app.#3 Improved efficiency.As the point says IoT in mobile app development can lead to higher efficiency and better utilization of resources. This integration will automate several processes offering a unique way to smarter homes and smarter cities. Mobile strategies powered by IoT can ensure to free up a good part of employee bandwidth. This is indeed a win-win situation where more attention be given to core tasks. For example, the remarkable results of this collaboration can be witnessed in the manufacturing and supply chain operations.#4 Modified and more efficient apps.Future of mobile apps will always be revolving around connected devices. Like it or not but in case of absence of connectivity, apps will lose the interest of users and hit a dead end. As a result, mobile app developers are striving to come up with future-proof apps. Smart devices are no longer a luxury, so think of something different to increase user adoption.#5 Strengthening data security measures.Using an app means it keeps on collecting ample of information regularly. Moreover, this is how it provides personalized responses and recommendations. At the same time, it also raises concern about user privacy and security of data. Many of you have this misconception that mobile apps pose a high likelihood of data breach. Unfortunately, attacks cannot be denied, but as a professional, you can definitely work on your defense. With the help of IoT systems, you can come up with an additional active layer of safety. In the end, data continues to stay protected- all thanks to data encryption and multiple entry points.How Are Mobile Apps Leveraging IoT?1. Wearables — Bluetooth, Wifi used to connect devices like watches, eyeglasses and even bands to your mobile phones. With IoT any form of data, starting from information to videos, audios, images can be exchanged between two devices.2. Healthcare — The urge for Home-based medical devices is on the rise. Thanks to mobile apps powered by the Internet of Things this is becoming a reality. Technically speaking, medical devices are connected to servers where professionals can receive health data from the patient via a mobile app.Further, this crucial data can be moved remotely to the relevant doctor. As a result, the need to visit the hospital for minor issues is substantially reduced. Managing chronic diseases, monitoring clinical conditions, assisted living, wellness monitoring and preventive measures are some of the common IoT solutions in healthcare.3. Retail — RFID inventory tracking chips, Wi-Fi tracking system, and digital signage are all part of the tech systems now. In simple words, these sensors receive relevant data that are then transferred to mobile apps. Businesses can proactively into the customer’s needs depending on the time and place.A Few Pointers to Take Into Account While Embracing the IoT TechnologyIoT tech is about a decade into the digital revolution; businesses are still found struggling issues related to disruptive technologies. The extreme level of connectivity of devices creates concerns regarding security and privacy. Remember to put additional security measures and maximize response time and efficiency.A few factors to consider when it comes to IoT app development and security.#1 Adhere to license agreement — Make sure that each of your equipment is original or get it conformed to different license agreement strictly. Basically, businesses have to ensure that they are duly aware of these terms and adhere to them.#2 Connectivity — Of course, you are going to connect your devices to the internet, so don’t forget to consider the mode of connectivity. Whether it’s Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, traditional mobile network, make sure it’s safe to use. You’ll want to carve out a strategy to assign permissions.#3 Hardware Capabilities — Along with software, it is also essential to consider hardware capabilities with your enterprise. Large businesses these days can easily add different hardware capabilities, but the entire process can be quite pricey and complicated.#4 Follow all the programming protocols — Having different programming protocols in place is another crucial element when connecting different devices at the same time.In the case of iOS apps, the External Accessory framework allows the communication with external hardware which is connected to any iOS-based device via Apple Lightning, wirelessly using Bluetooth or 30-pin connector.The framework supports need to figure out which kinds of app that various IoT devices can access through its connected iOS devices.It’s a Wrap.Considering all the pointers above into account, we can assume that businesses regardless of their size bound to provide innovative ideas and launch IoT mobile apps to carry out long-lasting engagement with their valuable customers.IoT is a massive change seeping into the technology world. Most industries will find valuable customer helps in wearables. High on the list is the healthcare industry’s high adoption of this technology.Businesses will need to cope with the latest trends now to gain experience so that they can move forward with all of the innovations to come.
Kanimozhi at the Patiala House court for the 2G trial in MayLodged in the assistant superintendent’s office in Tihar Jail in a cell especially created for her because of security reasons, Kanimozhi misses her 10-year-old son Adithyan the most. He is under the care of his grandmother Rajathi Ammal. She,Kanimozhi at the Patiala House court for the 2G trial in MayLodged in the assistant superintendent’s office in Tihar Jail in a cell especially created for her because of security reasons, Kanimozhi misses her 10-year-old son Adithyan the most. He is under the care of his grandmother Rajathi Ammal. She also misses her diamond nose-pin, an accessory she has sported since she was a little girl. She had sought permission to continue wearing it, saying she felt “improperly dressed” without it, but jail authorities did not allow it, or indeed any other jewellery.Adithyan visits her often, but not often enough, as jail rules allow visits by family members twice a week. That is the only time her calm cracks. “Once she broke down and kept saying sorry to her son”, disclosed a jail official who understands Tamil. Though the prisoners meet their families in ‘mulaqaat’ (meeting hall) with a glass shield in between, she was allowed to meet her son in the superintendent’s office because she wanted to hug him.Jail officials say Kanimozhi keeps to herself and does not interact much with other inmates. By various accounts, she appears to be an Orhan Pamuk fan. On May 20, when she was sent to jail, she carried a half-read My Name is Red with her. Museum of Innocence by the same author is keeping her company now. Kanimozhi spends her time reading and writing poetry. “She keeps writing something or the other and is completely immersed in it”, reveals a jail official. She was earlier lodged in ward number 8, which is called the ‘mulayaza’. It is a place where new inmates are lodged for the first six months to prevent them from interacting with the more hardened inmates. It is the only ward which has a spacious courtyard in the centre, where inmates can mingle with each other.advertisement”She is the calmest of the 2G lot and doesn’t make unreasonable demands”, says the jail official, referring to the other vvips lodged in Tihar for the 2G spectrum scam. They include former telecom minister and Kanimozhi’s party colleague A. Raja, the Balwa brothers, Unitech’s Sanjay Chandra, Karim Morani, Kalaignar tv’s managing director Sharath Kumar, senior bureaucrats and corporate executives.Till June 10, it was not very difficult for her or for the others in the 2G case to spend the day since they had daily hearings at Patiala House. They were out of the prison at 9 a.m. and returned around 6 in the evening. The day was spent in the air-conditioned CBI court, where the accused could meet their families. Now, with the courts closed for vacation till June 24, the day has to be spent in the jail.A jail official said that she once enquired about a beauty parlour on the premises. “She was told about one run by jail inmates which is free of cost, and the other run by Jawed Habib which costs money. She has not visited either yet”, the official said