To most of us, dignity, love and respect are human rights that we expect from our colleagues, family and friends alike. But imagine a world where these basic values have either been taken away from you or simply do not exist at all. A life where even the most basic building blocks of civilised society are removed or denied, where you don’t have a roof over your head and you don’t know where your next meal is coming from. Where you have no family to support you, where you don’t have a job or an ID card, so can’t access even the most basic of services, and where there is no state support or health care to assist you with your most basic of needs. For too many in Cape Town, this world is very real.
I recently visited the Humanity Hub and the Bo-Kapp Community Garden run by Souper Troopers in the heart of Cape Town. I have worked with Kerry and Caryn at Souper Troopers for several years now, and more recently, I have been supporting them in developing a new business strategy for the organisation, which has transitioned over the years from providing soup and support to Cape Town’s homeless communities to becoming a Humanity Centre.
And what a transformational journey this has been. Not just for Souper Troopers the organisation, but also for all of the individuals who have been supported in their rehabilitation journeys. The Souper Troopers provide access to their 'CAST' rehabilitation program. CAST stands for Connect, Assess, Support and Transform, and the Humanity Hub is where this work starts. The Hub is staffed by the Souper Squad, each of whom have been through the CAST program themselves and each of whom has their own story to tell.
On my most recent visit, we sat together and just talked. I listened to their stories, and it was wonderful to see first-hand what dignity, love and respect really mean to someone who has found these values once again. How much it means to be part of something that is important and something that you care about, to share their experiences and pass these on to others who have not yet found the Humanity Hub.
We then visited the Community Garden in Bo-Kapp. It’s a small patch of scrub land in a tough area of Cape Town, and over the last year or so, it has been transformed into a beautiful vegetable garden and community space. Souper Troopers from all around come to the garden to help out and share time together. It’s about being part of something important and all the produce harvested is given back to the community. It is a magical place of healing, joy and a little bit of nature in the middle of an urban landscape.
I was inspired by my visit and very moved by everything that I saw and learned. The joy that I saw in each and every person that I met, in the passion and dedication of Kerry and her team, and in the impact that their work is having on people in Cape Town.
For me, Souper Troopers and the Humanity Hub are a shining example of everything that we are striving to achieve through our Conscious Capital initiatives. Conscious Capital is so much more than hitting our environmental and net zero targets. It’s about doing the right things to help people in our local communities and in society.
I am so pleased that we are able to support the Humanity Hub and share some of our time and resources. Over the coming months, many of our Cape Town staff will be taking time out of the office to volunteer with the Souper Troopers. For many, this will involve spending an afternoon working alongside some of the Souper Squad in the Bo-kapp Garden. This is a great opportunity for the Capital team to gain an understanding of the initiatives we are supporting, and I hope they will be as inspired as I was by the positive impact the Troopers are having.
Disclaimer: The views, thoughts and opinions expressed within this article are those of the author, and not those of any company within the Capital International Group (CIG) and as such are neither given nor endorsed by CIG. Information in this article does not constitute investment advice or an offer or an invitation by or on behalf of any company within the Capital International Group of companies to buy or sell any product or security or to make a bank deposit.