The Soweto Retired Professionals Society (SRPS) was founded in 1986 by retired nurses from Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, initially as a post-retirement social contact platform. The group, because of their recognised leadership and collective expertise, was soon called upon to facilitate service to local and other communities. Thus began the blossoming patriotic philanthropic service. In the year of the organisation’s inception, 1986, members provided life-saving service relief in hospitals during the labour unrest period in the public health service sector. In 2002 some members provided much needed and invaluable assistance in Kwazulu-Natal during the deadly Cholera outbreak there. That same year, some SRPS members were also involved in studies led by the Human Science Research Council which looked at the impact of HIV/AIDS on families, communities, health care workers and teachers.
Having given so much of their time and expertise in research and crisis situations, the SRPS developed a very clear understanding of the needs and circumstances of the communities in and around Johannesburg, particularly in Soweto. Therefore, in 2002, the SRPS was registered as a non-profit organisation, and, using their own collective membership subscriptions (and other income) as starting capital, the group opened their first community needed project, Footprints Hospice on 4 August 2004. That same year, the group became actively involved in community service and development projects by providing mentorship to over 100 NGOs in the health sector at the request of the Gauteng Department of Health. Since opening Footprints Hospice, the SRPS has developed a holistic programme to healing the communities they serve. This is done through following projects, namely:
Continuing support for discharged HIV/Aids Footprints Hospice clients (Home Based Care) Food gardening (organic)
Ancillary Health Care and Community Health Care courses, and Level 3 Home-based Care
Providing installation of, and training on, software to facilitate administration and reporting for NGO’s providing services to client base, like, Home Based Care; Orphans and Vulnerable Children; Voluntary Counselling and Testing programmes; Employees; Schools, etc. Philanthropic support from both the public and private sector helps to sustain and grow the work of the SRPS