The Rokpa Soup kitchen was started in 1995 by residents and community members of Kagyu Samye Dzong Johannesburg in Kensington, which is one of the oldest suburbs of Johannesburg. Soup, peanut butter sandwiches and fruit are delivered to a stop in the inner city of Johannesburg once a week. The recipients are homeless people living on the streets, with a large number of immigrants from other African countries who have come to seek refuge in this City of Gold.
- The soup and peanut butter sandwiches are prepared by a team of volunteers on a Tuesday morning.
- The recipe used for the soup has been refined over the years, based on feedback from the recipients. Fresh vegetables, lentils, rice and soya are used with herbs and curry powder to make a nutritious, tasty and filling meal.
- The soup and sandwiches are delivered on Tuesday evenings by volunteers to the people on the street.
- Currently about 600 meals per month are served.
- Occasionally other items such as Easter eggs, Christmas hampers, jerseys and other clothes are handed out. In winter months, blankets, both donated to, and supplied by Rokpa Gauteng, are handed out.
- All children who come for the soup are given a colouring book and crayons.
- In the coming winter months we will be handing out blankets and hand-made scarves. The scarves are made by a homeless lady living on the streets, and are bought by a volunteer for the soup kitchen.
- The soup kitchen is funded by individual donors, some of whom have been contributing since the start of the soup kitchen.
- Rokpa International has also been very supportive over the years. We also have help from corporate donors.
- There is a charity table in our shop, where people donate useful objects. The items are bought on a donation basis, and the proceeds go to the soup kitchen.
- Occasionally we have fund raising events where donated items and services such as massages, yoga classes etc donated by community members are auctioned off.
- Currently it costs about R10 per meal. With the cost of peanut butter almost doubling recently, we are always looking for donations. As we are a registered charity, donations are claimable from SARS.
Other activities of the Rokpa Soup Kitchen include collection of clothes and shoes, children’s toys and stationary, and non-perishable food items from community members, which are distributed to either the soup kitchen clients or other organisations such as Tara Rokpa Centre in the North West Province, Tomorrow Trust, and Village Safe Haven. There is a container for donated items in the reception area of the Buddhist centre in Kensington.
If you would like to contribute in some way, or for more information, please contact our office on 011 614 1948 (weekday mornings) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the Rokpa Report Dec 2014, click here.
For the Rokpa Report, Dec 2015 click here.
Soup kitchen in the news, click here.
Glimpses of the Soup Kitchen in Action – click here.