This week the group from Stenden University started with the volunteering project at the Port Alfred Soup Kitchen. With this project they take a couple of students with them to help preparing the food for the houses of Nemato, Bathurst and Station Hill. With experiencing the full process the Port Alfred Soup Kitchen in personally, we want the students to get to know the company and getting them enthusiastic for volunteering.
Monday 12 February
On Monday Angelino brought Paula, Carolin, Laura and Gillian with him to the Soup Kitchen. The group arrived at 7.00, where Angelino gave them a short tour around the company. Even though it was early the students could start immediately with cutting and packing the loafs of bread for the families. Thereafter they had the task to divide a great load of food in smaller bins. Craig was helping them with this.
"The Soup Kitchen gave me a wider view of poverty. With making the soup and handing it out to the people I saw that there are a lot of people who live in real poverty. That is a shock when you are used to Dutch standards. The Soup Kitchen is a beautiful initiative for helping people in need and a good side effect is that it gives students who volunteer consciousness about helping people." - Gillian van Loenhoud
"It was a very nice experience, I loved how passionate the volunteers and staff members were working together to prepare all the meals. Later on, when we went to the township to hand out the soup it was heartwarming how lovely and open-minded the people welcomed us in their houses. Definitely an experience I will not forget." - Carolin Mersmann
At 9.00 they started to load the car with baskets of food and buckets of soup. When this was done, we went to Nemato with two cars. De students were sitting in de back of the Bucky. When we arrived at the location, the students were very helpful. Bringing the food for the families to their houses and having a chat with them. The girls had a bucket of lollipops with them to hand out to all the children.
Even though it was a hot day, the students worked hard with passion and pleasure.
Wednesday 14 February
On Wednesday Berber, Sandra, Brian and Marieke volunteered at the Soup Kitchen. It was the first time they were doing volunteer work in South Africa so they were very excited and enthusiastic. This group was also led by Angelino, while the other group members were working in the Garden. The morning started at 7.00. Coming at the Soup Kitchen, Angelino gave them a quick tour around the company. But it was already quite full of stuff to do so the students started with different tasks. Sandra and Marieke started with baking the eggs. Brian, Berber and Angelino went mincing the vegetables and preparing the soup. With so many volunteers it went very fast, so the students had some time left to pack chips and prepare some extra leftovers. At 9.00 the car was ready to go, so we went to Nemato with Jennifer who joined us on our trip.
"For me it was a great experience to help in the Soup Kitchen. I thought it was very impressive to see how people live in Nemato and it was grateful work. Everyone was so kind and nice to us. I look forward to help again at the Port Alfred Soup Kitchen." - Berber de Bildt
"I had a very nice day and know now a lot more of what the Soup Kitchen does. The people of the Soup Kitchen are very committed and that is nice to see. It was a beautiful and impressive experience." - Sandra de Haan
While bringing the food to the different houses, the students were very active and really showing compassion to help. Even though the situation of some houses was something they had never seen before or experienced, the students showed respect. The girls were handing out sweets and chips to the children, while Brian was helping with unloading the car. When the students arrived at the Christmas house, they were invited to pray with them. A great example of experiencing the kindness of the people in Nemato. After bringing the last baskets of food, the car drove the students back to the Soup Kitchen, arriving there at 11:30.
"This was such a great experience. I have never seen anything like this. How the volunteers do their work to make the families in the township happy is something I will never forget. The appreciation you get from the residents in the township was also an unknown feeling to me. I really enjoyed it and will definitely do more voluntary work in the future." - Brian Pijning
"I loved working at the Soup Kitchen. The families we went were so thankful and kind to us. My best memory will be the family that went pray for us, so special." - Marieke Snijder