Tremaine van Aardt
“WE want to help the neighbourhood we once terrorised,” says former Helenvale gangster Arthur Williams, who together with three former gangsters and friends has started a soup kitchen for children in their area.
Operating for only one month, former gangsters Williams, Craig Fleurs, Deon Afrikaner and Rogan Vosloo are already feeding more than 150 children every Wednesday from the Fleurs’s residence.
The Soup Saviours, as they are known, go door-to-door to homes and businesses in the northern areas, asking for donations to sustain the soup kitchen.
Ward 13 councillor, Nico du Plessis acknowledged the good work the Soup Saviours are doing and supports the initiative.
“They approached me about a month ago told me what they planned to do and I had to help.
“I helped them get started because they really are making a difference and I support them wholeheartedly,” he said.
Williams said the inspiration for the soup kitchen came from their own life experiences.
“Having lived the life of gangsters we know how easy it is for these kids to get sucked in, especially when there is no food at home. These children are forced to do what they have to, to survive.
“Our aim is to provide them with something as simple as a meal which will help them concentrate in class. We know that some do not bother attending school because they are hungry.
“Hopefully we can help them realise the importance of an education and prevent them from going down the same road we travelled,” he said.
With the ingredients to make a pot of soup costing about R170, excluding electricity, to feed up to 150 children, Soup Saviours are fighting an uphill battle.
“We need the assistance of our community.
“We are not asking for money – we will be happy if they buy the ingredients for the soup,” said Fleurs.
If you can help Soup Saviours in any way in their mission to feed the hungry children call 076-279-7609.