Saturday, June 11, 2016

Ramadan 2016 with One Third Soup Kitchen

Emdad Rahman: It takes merely minutes to make a positive change I told wide eyed Inaya.

It's Ramadan 2016 and Kam and I had a new team with us today. We really enjoyed serving and mixing with our visiting guests. It was quick and effective.

In fact nowadays I advise volunteers on our soup kitchen to keep the engine running. Our guests are all ready and waiting. We set up, chat, catch up, serve, clean up and leave. It's a very quick system. The volunteers can then get back to their usual Saturday night after making a very positive difference to someone's day. It all fits well within the hustle and bustle of our modern day lives. The chicken biriani from Aysha and Ashraf was so popular it was gone within 35 minutes. Thanks to Farida for the introduction.

There is a mind-set that homeless citizens are somehow different to us. It's not at all easy accepting a plate of something from a complete stranger. They are in that position because some calamity or misfortune has befallen them. We at One Third don't judge - It could have been us receiving the hospitality. We want to use this level of outreach to help change perceptions about homelessness.

The only downside was a security guard. He was downright rude, offensive and aggressive. He made us move our table. I explained that we would be done in 30 minutes and pointed out that the roof above our heads provides shelter from the elements. I won't go into details because I don't want to give this waste of space any publicity. (I may write about this separately). I did however point out that he is nowhere to be seen when smokers and rowdy drinkers block the entrance, and when visitors feel threatened by the presence of aggressive pockets of people congregating at the entrance. But... Priorities are priorities for them I guess and these soup kitchen volunteers are a real bunch of hellraisers. He's always rude is that one - I don't know - maybe he needs a plate of the good stuff. Maybe I'll offer the 'big man' one next time.

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