Diny Hartleb


Port Alfred Soup Kitchen

For 10 years ago my husband and I came to Port-Alfred. I started than in the soup kitchen

And I still enjoy this work. A hug from a old lady or an big kiss from a little child give me so

much. I love to do this work.

Students from Stenden University volunteering at the Port Alfred Soup Kitchen

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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.
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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.

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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.

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"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

Blog Students

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This blog is from Quinty and Juliette 

Dear reader,

We are Quinty and Juliette and currently we are studying at Stenden University in the Netherlands. For our minors, we exchanged to Stenden University South Africa to study Social Entrepreneurship. Within this minor, students focus on two projects and one of our projects was: The Port Alfred Soup Kitchen. In the last five months, we analysed the Soup Kitchen, in what they can improve and what could be changed.

First time we entered the Soup Kitchen we were overwhelmed with almost everything, but especially the inspired and passionate people who are involved with the Soup Kitchen. After preparing the food, we jumped on the ‘bakkie’ and went to the locations. It was very inspiring to see how the Soup Kitchen made someone’s day happier with only a ‘stokkie’ for the children or that small extra piece of bread to a family. The Soup Kitchen helps them wherever they can.

Every Monday or Wednesday we joined the Soup Kitchen by dividing the food and bringing this to the location. In September, we were invited by the board for their monthly meeting for the first time, here we would introduce ourselves and tell our experience to them and suggest our plan. In the last 18 weeks, we tried to involve ourselves as much as possible. By attending in the feeding days or the board meetings, we also worked on developing a marketing plan for the Soup Kitchen and organized a pancake-day for the people in need. Together with 4 other students from Stenden University we started at 06.30 in the morning to prepare pancakes for people in Nemato and Bathurst. At 11 o’clock we had baked 600 pancakes and jumped in the ‘bakkie’ with the students and the Chairman Helmut. The funniest part was that not many people knew what this ‘round and sticky’ sweetness was but everyone loved it. Starting with children and ending with the elderly people, every single person was flabbergasted about the tasted and asked for more. It was a beautiful and sunny day. We were very happy of the results and would like to thank Stenden University South Africa for the support!

Unfortunately, every story comes to an end and on the 30th of November we had to say goodbye to the Soup Kitchen. In the last months, we tried to implement our skills as much as possible and hopefully helped the Soup Kitchen in a way they can work further on. But most important, they taught us how you can help your community and to not be close minded, because how Tony always told us: ‘there cannot be holes in a bucket.’ Everyone who is involved with the Soup Kitchen worked with a lot of passion and knows why they are volunteering. We want to thank the Soup Kitchen for the early mornings and all the inspiring talks. Hopefully we will be back in the future but till that time, we hope people will recognize what this wonderful charity does and that they really need support.

With love,

Quinty Küsters and Juliette Bielschowsky


Introducing Nandi, the administration lady

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Good morning!
My name is Nandi Fenqe. I am married for 5 years now. I am married to a Pastor. I was born and raised in Grahamstown and came in Port Alfred for Gods work (MINISTRY). The name of the Church is Life Giver International Ministries in Nemato.
I came to the Port Alfred Christian Upliftment Centre through a friend of mine. She called me and ask if ever I was interested. She knew I am furthering my studies in Finance and I knew there and than that was GOD because I have a passion on the needy people. I am very compasionate in helping those who are in need. My vision is working with elderly people and young kids so this I saw as an opportunity for me to fullfill part of what God has called me to do. Working here I have learned a lot, I have seen a lot. When you are not involved in a situation you will never know how big the situation is. And what drove me to stay and love this place is the big heart that the committee and the volunteers have. Not everyone can do what they are doing without expecting something in return and its a great thing to me and is a great thing in the eyes of the Lord.
As I am an Administrator here, I also help with packing collections, packing food that we get from donors, cleaning vegetables for the soup. Supervising the staff, make sure the premises are kept clean as we are getting positive feedback on how clean the premises are. Supervise the vehicles. Preparing food on Monday, Wednesday, Friday by the help of the volunteers, handing out clothes and blankets. Visit homes who are in need. Doing books, pay the staff, organise meetings, buy things that are needed. And I do that with a happy heart because I'm doing part of what I'm called to do. 
Thank you.

First Blog

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Dear everyone,

Hereby we would like to post our first blog.

Today, we would like to introduce you to the family behind the scene, in other words the board of the Soup Kitchen. Currently, there are 9 members in the board and 17 volunteers.

The Chairperson Helmut Hartleb, he joined the Soup Kitchen for the first time in 2007. Someone asked him to go with them to feed the poor. When he saw the children asking for a piece of bread, with their big eyes, that was the moment he thought he could help. It is now 10 years ago when he started volunteering at the Soup Kitchen and now he is the Chairperson for already 6 years.

The Vice-Chairperson of the Soup Kitchen is Debra Harris. Together with her husband Steve they first got involved in the Soup Kitchen around 1999. Steve’s father had always taught him that where possible no one should have to go to bed hungry. This really impressed him and Debra and him have always tried to assist those around them wherever possible. In 2002 she joined the committee as Vice-Chairperson and together with the board members and dedicated volunteers, they strive to make a difference in the Ndlambe area. She always says: ‘We are not able to change the world but we can make a difference in our little part of the world and the Soup Kitchen is very involved in feeding the homeless, indigent and in particular children.’

The secretary of the Soup Kitchen is Marianne Field. Together with her husband she arrived in Port Alfred in August 2009. She fell in love with Port Alfred, the Kowie River, the Indian Ocean and the dunes. Apart from the potholes she finds Port Alfred idyllic, but then she became aware of all the beggars, the street children and the large numbers of people living in abject poverty. The Soup Kitchen was introduced to her and told her how it begun. In response to reports that children were eating paper at school to still their hunger, a church group started helping out. She heard that the Soup Kitchen was basically run by a group of caring volunteers and is well-runned. There was a genuine desire to help the impoverished in the community. She felt she would like to be involved in a purposeful way in the Community and chose the Soup Kitchen as she strongly believes in the main objective which is that everyone should have at least one square meal a day. Currently, she now has been part of the Soup Kitchen volunteers for the past 5 years and still impressed by the commitment of those who are involved.

Apart from these three-dedicated people you have: Ray, Hector, Luky, Sandi, Tony, Leon and Dot, who are members of the board. Together with the volunteers they work very hard to help as many poor people in the townships of Port Alfred and Bathurst. Currently, the Soup Kitchen is serving 3000 meals a week and is hoping to serve more people in the future.

"A day lived without showing love for others is a day not worth living." Mother Theresa



Our Contact Details

Port Alfred Soup Kitchen

Address:  42 Van der Riet Street, Port Alfred, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Telephone:  046 624 4925

Fax:  046 624 4925

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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