Embodying the Spirit of ‘Ubuntu’-Souper Troopers
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We first came across Souper Troopers via their Facebook page and LOVED what they are doing, not to mention the beautiful intention and vision behind it. Souper Troopers is a Cape Town based non-profit organisation – a group of like-minded individuals managed by Kerry Hoffman – that provides a platform in the form of monthly socials, to give homeless individuals a space to have some fun and feel human. Significantly, these events are frequently run together with people on the street. Hence, everyone is recognised as a ‘trooper’; it’s a collaborative effort between the ‘homefull’ (as they call it) and homeless.

The reason Earthtribe took such an interest in Souper Troopers is because for us what they are doing fully embodies the spirit of ‘Ubuntu’, an African word that represents our humanness, and refers to behaving well towards others or acting in ways that benefit the community. Since we are also passionate about creating a conscious living Tribe, we felt a tremendous amount of respect for what Souper Troopers is achieving.

Souper Troopers is a platform for human beings to join together and assist in any way possible to make the changes we wish to see in our world, from a very authentic space. They believe in the philosophy of ‘doing’ not just talking, and invite you to do the same!

It all began with a pot of soup… 

In 2014, Kerry was inspired to connect with the most marginalised people in Cape Town – those people living on the streets. “I started by serving some soup and sandwiches from an urban pavement with music playing from my car for more of a ‘social’ vibe, where we could interact human to human. Seeing the response, I realised that we can create meaningful change through small acts of kindness, which led to a vision that gestures like these could bring about positive change in an increasingly negative space. It has now become so much more than a feeding project – it is a community, a movement, a way of life.

In Cape Town, we are all aware of the prevalence of homelessness. Homeless people go without having their basic human needs met. Instead of aiming to ‘solve the problem,’ I wanted to provide specific events and services that bring homeless people some dignity and attention, which they need so badly. I also wanted to find a way to bridge the divide between these marginalised members of society and people who have their needs met and are often considered more important. As one of the Troopers, George, says, “We just want people to acknowledge that we are also people.”

The main aims of Souper Troopers

Souper Troopers main aim is to find ways to reintegrate homeless people in Cape Town into society. Their objectives are:

  • to restore dignity to homeless people in Cape Town through collaborative events and programmes;
  • to bring people with homes into contact with those who sleep on the street in a safe, social space;
  • to change negative perceptions the ‘homefull’ and homeless have about each other

              through personal interaction and experience;

  • to seek partnerships that create opportunities for the homeless to earn an income while contributing to the building of an inclusive and sustainable society.

Souper Socials

Souper Troopers meet once a month to connect and socialise in a fun and loving environment. They give out soup, snack packs and when possible clothes, toiletries and any other form of nourishment to the homeless and anyone who could do with some love and attention. These meetings are more than just a means to nourish their hunger. Whilst the needs of the homeless are met through food and clothing, the group also takes time to nourish the peoples’ souls and inspire some hope. Through collaboration with volunteers, homeless individuals, and corporates, the monthly socials have included haircuts and a wholesome meal, pop-up boutique clothing spaces that allow homeless individuals to ‘shop’ in a dignified manner, mobile showers, the donation of toiletries, games and other entertainment, and the opportunity to celebrate birthdays.

The Souper Vision 

We have reached the stage of our growth where we want to expand our service offering,” says Kerry. “The time has come for us to find a permanent presence in Cape Town’s CBD so that we can establish a full-time service centre for Cape Town’s homeless, a human hub. We are fundraising to make this a reality. Watch this space!”

Wow, so much in the pipeline!!! We wish you all the best! 

Visit Souper Trooper’s website to find out how you can get involved!

Picture by Sarah Isaacs https://www.facebook.com/sarahisaacsphotography/ 

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