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It´s very hard sometimes not to have for everyone

C.A.S.A. distributes 400 meals a day to disadvantaged people

LUNCH AND DINNEER EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK. DINNEERS AT WEEKENDS. ABOUT 400 MEALS A DAY. FIVE ROUTES WITH SEVERAL STOPS. FIVE TEAMS. SUMMARIZING A WORK THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO SUMMARIZE IN ITS OWN EXTENSION, THIS IS ONE OF THE SCENARIOS EXPERIENCED BY THE VOLUNTEERS OF THE HOMELESSNESS SUPPORT CENTER (C.A.S.A.).

“DEALING WITH MISERY IS THE MOST COMPLICATED THING” REVEALS MARTA CANÁRIO, WHO BECAME INVOLVED WITH C.A.S.A. THREE YEARS AGO. ACCORDING TO THE VOLUNTEER, THE FUNDAMENTAL RULE FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS TO VOLUNTEER IS “TO BE SERIOUSLY AVAILABLE AND NOT THINKING THAT THEY ARE GOING TO FEED THE POOR ONES”. THERE´S A LOT OF PREVIOUS WORK IN THE KITCHEN, FOR EXAMPLE, WASHING POTS, CLEANING THE FLOOR AND PACKING THE FOOD, WHICH IS ALSO PART OF VOLUNTEERING. “IT’S TOUGHNESS THERE”, MARTA ASSURES.

THE WORLD LIFE EXPERIENCE TEAM CONTACTED C.A.S.A. TO OFFER HELP. AS WE COULD NOT GO TO THE KITCHEN BECAUSE THERE WERE TOO MANY PEOPLE AND WE STILL WANTED TO HAVE THIS FIRST EXPERIENCE AS A GROUP, WE TOOK THE OPPORTUNITY TO GO TO ORIENTE (LISBON AREA) WITH ONE OF THE VOLUNTEER TEAMS FROM C.A.S.A. TO DISTRIBUTE MEALS.

NOT KNOWING WHAT TO EXPECT, WE ARRIVED AROUND 9:00 P.M. TO START ORGANIZING THE WAY MEALS WOULD BE SERVED AND ALREADY THERE WERE A LOT OF PEOPLE WAITING. AT 9:30 P.M. WE BEGAN SERVING IN A 'PRODUCTION LINE' STYLE ORGANIZED BY MARTA CANÁRIO: MEAL, BREAD, CAKE, FRUIT, JUICE OR WATER. THE SPEED AND RELATIVE CALMNESS IN THE WAY IT HAPPENED WAS SO UNEXPECTED THAT WE DID NOT EVEN NOTICE THAT 40 MINUTES LATER WE HAD SERVED MEALS FOR ABOUT 70 PEOPLE. LUCKILY THERE WAS FOOD FOR EVERYONE. “IT´S VERY HARD SOMETIMES NOT HAVING FOR EVERYONE”, SAYS MARTA CANÁRIO. SHE ALSO EXPLAINED: “THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE HERE WHO OWN HOUSES, OTHERS ARE HOMELESS, SOME SLEEP-IN FACTORIES, THERE ARE OTHERS THAT WE SEE THREE TIMES AND WE NEVER SEE AGAIN”, SHE ADDS.

WHEN WE COMPLETED OUR ‘MISSION’, WE FELT LIGHT AND PROUD, ALTHOUGH WE ARE AWARE THAT WHAT WE HAVE DONE HAS ALMOST NO EXPRESSION FOR THOSE WHO ARE VOLUNTEERS FOR YEARS. YET AGAIN, THIS IS A 'STARTING POINT' FOR US.

THERE ARE SEVERAL WAYS TO HELP C.A.S.A. AND THIS NIGHT WE LEARNED THIS FROM SEEING A COUPLE WITH THEIR 10-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER WHO JOINED US WITH TWO LARGE SUITCASES FULL OF CLOTHES AND SHOES TO GIVE TO THOSE PEOPLE. THIS IS JUST AN EXAMPLE, BUT A GOOD ONE.

ACCORDING TO C.A.S.A.´S WEBSITE, THERE IS A NEED FOR MORE VOLUNTEERS, ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WHO CAN PERFORM SPECIALIZED WORK (ADMINISTRATIVE, DESIGNERS, WEB DEVELOPERS, NURSES, DOCTORS, AMONG OTHERS). DONATIONS ARE ALSO ESSENTIAL FOR THE WORK THAT THE ASSOCIATION DEVELOPS. TO COOKING MEALS, THERE ARE TWO COLLECTIONS A YEAR TO THE FOOD BANK AND DAILY THERE ARE SOME SUPERMARKETS, BAKERIES AND RESTAURANTS THAT DONATE FOOD (IN ADDITION TO OCCASIONAL AND SPONTANEOUS DONATIONS OF PEOPLE).

ABOUT C.A.S.A .: 
C.A.S.A., A PORTUGUESE NON-PROFIT INSTITUTION, WAS INITIATED BY PEMA WANGYAL IN 2002. IT PROVIDES SUPPORT, FOOD AND SHELTER FOR THE HOMELESS, CHILDREN, ADOLESCENTS AND ELDERLY SOCIALLY DISADVANTAGED, VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE OR ILL-TREATMENT, REGARDLESS OF THEIR NATIONALITY RELIGIOUS CREED, POLITICS OR ETHNICITY.

LUNCH AND DINNEER EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK. DINNEERS AT WEEKENDS. ABOUT 400 MEALS A DAY. FIVE ROUTES WITH SEVERAL STOPS. FIVE TEAMS. SUMMARIZING A WORK THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO SUMMARIZE IN ITS OWN EXTENSION, THIS IS ONE OF THE SCENARIOS EXPERIENCED BY THE VOLUNTEERS OF THE HOMELESSNESS SUPPORT CENTER (C.A.S.A.).

“DEALING WITH MISERY IS THE MOST COMPLICATED THING” REVEALS MARTA CANÁRIO, WHO BECAME INVOLVED WITH C.A.S.A. THREE YEARS AGO. ACCORDING TO THE VOLUNTEER, THE FUNDAMENTAL RULE FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS TO VOLUNTEER IS “TO BE SERIOUSLY AVAILABLE AND NOT THINKING THAT THEY ARE GOING TO FEED THE POOR ONES”. THERE´S A LOT OF PREVIOUS WORK IN THE KITCHEN, FOR EXAMPLE, WASHING POTS, CLEANING THE FLOOR AND PACKING THE FOOD, WHICH IS ALSO PART OF VOLUNTEERING. “IT’S TOUGHNESS THERE”, MARTA ASSURES.

THE WORLD LIFE EXPERIENCE TEAM CONTACTED C.A.S.A. TO OFFER HELP. AS WE COULD NOT GO TO THE KITCHEN BECAUSE THERE WERE TOO MANY PEOPLE AND WE STILL WANTED TO HAVE THIS FIRST EXPERIENCE AS A GROUP, WE TOOK THE OPPORTUNITY TO GO TO ORIENTE (LISBON AREA) WITH ONE OF THE VOLUNTEER TEAMS FROM C.A.S.A. TO DISTRIBUTE MEALS.

NOT KNOWING WHAT TO EXPECT, WE ARRIVED AROUND 9:00 P.M. TO START ORGANIZING THE WAY MEALS WOULD BE SERVED AND ALREADY THERE WERE A LOT OF PEOPLE WAITING. AT 9:30 P.M. WE BEGAN SERVING IN A 'PRODUCTION LINE' STYLE ORGANIZED BY MARTA CANÁRIO: MEAL, BREAD, CAKE, FRUIT, JUICE OR WATER. THE SPEED AND RELATIVE CALMNESS IN THE WAY IT HAPPENED WAS SO UNEXPECTED THAT WE DID NOT EVEN NOTICE THAT 40 MINUTES LATER WE HAD SERVED MEALS FOR ABOUT 70 PEOPLE. LUCKILY THERE WAS FOOD FOR EVERYONE. “IT´S VERY HARD SOMETIMES NOT HAVING FOR EVERYONE”, SAYS MARTA CANÁRIO. SHE ALSO EXPLAINED: “THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE HERE WHO OWN HOUSES, OTHERS ARE HOMELESS, SOME SLEEP-IN FACTORIES, THERE ARE OTHERS THAT WE SEE THREE TIMES AND WE NEVER SEE AGAIN”, SHE ADDS.

WHEN WE COMPLETED OUR ‘MISSION’, WE FELT LIGHT AND PROUD, ALTHOUGH WE ARE AWARE THAT WHAT WE HAVE DONE HAS ALMOST NO EXPRESSION FOR THOSE WHO ARE VOLUNTEERS FOR YEARS. YET AGAIN, THIS IS A 'STARTING POINT' FOR US.

THERE ARE SEVERAL WAYS TO HELP C.A.S.A. AND THIS NIGHT WE LEARNED THIS FROM SEEING A COUPLE WITH THEIR 10-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER WHO JOINED US WITH TWO LARGE SUITCASES FULL OF CLOTHES AND SHOES TO GIVE TO THOSE PEOPLE. THIS IS JUST AN EXAMPLE, BUT A GOOD ONE.

ACCORDING TO C.A.S.A.´S WEBSITE, THERE IS A NEED FOR MORE VOLUNTEERS, ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WHO CAN PERFORM SPECIALIZED WORK (ADMINISTRATIVE, DESIGNERS, WEB DEVELOPERS, NURSES, DOCTORS, AMONG OTHERS). DONATIONS ARE ALSO ESSENTIAL FOR THE WORK THAT THE ASSOCIATION DEVELOPS. TO COOKING MEALS, THERE ARE TWO COLLECTIONS A YEAR TO THE FOOD BANK AND DAILY THERE ARE SOME SUPERMARKETS, BAKERIES AND RESTAURANTS THAT DONATE FOOD (IN ADDITION TO OCCASIONAL AND SPONTANEOUS DONATIONS OF PEOPLE).

ABOUT C.A.S.A .: 
C.A.S.A., A PORTUGUESE NON-PROFIT INSTITUTION, WAS INITIATED BY PEMA WANGYAL IN 2002. IT PROVIDES SUPPORT, FOOD AND SHELTER FOR THE HOMELESS, CHILDREN, ADOLESCENTS AND ELDERLY SOCIALLY DISADVANTAGED, VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE OR ILL-TREATMENT, REGARDLESS OF THEIR NATIONALITY RELIGIOUS CREED, POLITICS OR ETHNICITY.

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