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.
Quinty Küsters and Juliette Bielschowsky