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Ser Humano

Ser Humano

For several years Ser Humano has been providing hot meals daily to elderly and disabled people in the Marbella area who live alone, many of whom have a poor diet. The hot meals provided are 3 courses with a well balanced nutrition. Over the past 2 years this charity has needed to expand its work by also providing hot meals to very poor families whose unemployment benefit has expired. The Town Hall now provides a kitchen and some funding to the charity. The meals are also inspected by the Town Hall.

Rotary Club Marbella-Guadalmina recently donated E2,000 towards purchasing a van for meal deliveries as well as donating a lot of dried foodstuffs.

Mr Gardeña runs the Welfare Department of the Town Hall which is trying to share the idea amongst other local charitable associations of co-ordinating their work to help needy people in the area. They already co-ordinate with the Red Cross, Caritas, the local police and Ser Humano in the project that Ser Humano is putting into effect, by studying the details of apparently needy people and ensuring that they are genuinely in need and trying to asess why they have reached this situation. The Red Cross go around the streets at night looking for homeless people and Ser Humano feeds them.

Emergency Aid to Ser Humano, by Paul Church, President

I would like to update you on events relating to Ser Humano.  On Monday, David received a call from Ana asking for help as she was out of food, and no supplies were immediately forthcoming from the food bank, although she had been promised some. David and I liaised with Ana and it was clear that some urgent action was needed, and we agreed to provide emergency assistance. We agreed to provide immediate help to the value of Euros 1000.

Lynda and I met  Ana at the supermarket on Tuesday and together with Jordi ( a Swedish volunteer worker who helps Ana) we shopped until we had overfilled 4 large trolleys. It was an unusual experience, the quantities are just so great, 300 eggs, 48 packets of tomate frito, 21 packets of fish each weighting 900 grams. We were clearing shelves, and it took nearly 30 minutes just to check out. Later we went on to her wholesale greengrocer and ordered fruit and vegetables. She will not buy vegetables from supermarket as they are too expensive. We also picked up some pots and pans that she needed.

One thing I would say at this stage is that Ana does not waste money, no matter what the price on the packet everything is reduced to “price per kilo”.  At one stage we had to empty a load of things that we had loaded from the “promoción” shelves because she found similar elsewhere that was cheaper on a “per kilo basis”..   She bought 40kg of potatoes for Euros 3.70. !!

As a result we have stocked Ser Humano up with enough dry foods, oil, eggs, juices, fruit and vegetables to see them though the next 2 weeks, although they probably only have enough meat and fish for 3 or 4 days.  It was a very useful exercise, especially as we saw the van which was loaded to the very top, in fact Lynda had to carry some items in her car. It is a nice van and very clean.  We also saw the Kitchen and got a better feel for what they are doing from clean fairly limited facilities.

In the 30 minutes that we there unloading the van, between 7 or 8 people came for cooked food which they were supplied with. Some were picking up meals for 2 or 3 people. All looked needy, and one quite young family had a baby, Ana said they had no money whatsoever. What was very nice is that Ana took great care to introduce us to each of them and explained that Rotary was providing help to Ser Humano.

Her cook is unwell, so when we there, there was just 4 of them, Ana, Jordi, and 2 in the kitchen. Ana is ( according to the kitchen assistant) putting in extra hours to help with food preparation whilst the cook is away. I gather that Jordi helps with delivery to the old and disabled by foot, walking through the barrios behind the Old Town to those who live  close to the kitchen, Ana is using van for further deliveries.  It is quite extraordinary how much time Ana and her helpers are giving on a volunteer basis, perhaps 5 to 6 hours every day and remember it is 7 days per week.

I spent Euros 1011 on behalf of Rotary ( we do have receipts for everything) and I think it was a bargain, having seen the operations, I am convinced that this really does need our support as well as support from other voluntary organisations.

Paul Church
Lynda Church receives a bouquet in appreciation of her and Paul's work      

Further donation of a Fridge and Freezer

Rotary Club Marbella Guadalmina has helped make the collection and distribution of food even more efficient with the donation of a fridge and freezer.