2017-07-24

Janni's Experience Helping in the Soup Kitchen & Kinderganten Projects in Buenos Aires

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My name is Janni, I’m originally from Ireland, but I’m doing my university in England. I’m studying international development, with a specialization in Latin America.

I’ve been here in Argentina for 3 months working in a soup kitchen alongside other volunteers to feed the community and children from 1 year old to 4 years old.

What does a typical day look like?

I get to work around 9:30 and start helping in the kitchen, preparing the food for lunch time. Then I go upstairs and play with the children. I didn’t realize that it would be so much fun at 22 years of age. At lunch time, I go back to the kitchen, serve the food, and then help clean up. When all the children have eaten, I go back to the kitchen again, to prepare more food for the community. Around 1 pm the people who live in the area come to have free food. On special occasions, such as National day or Independence day, we make some special cakes and treats. It’s very nice to be part of this community.

What do you like the most in your project?

I love the women who work in the kitchen. They are like grandmothers or aunties for me. They all do this in their free time, making a massive difference in the community and I just feel very happy to be a part of that.

Is it the first time that you volunteered?

I volunteered twice before, once in South Africa, working with orphan children with disabilities. The second time, I went to Iceland to bring awareness of whaling and environmental issues.

Why are you volunteering?

I realized the situation here, while writing some papers at university about the reasons people in South America are dying before the age of 5. I got really sad and I thought I could do more than sitting in my course and writing about it, this is why I volunteered.

Did you speak Spanish before arriving here?

No, I came to Argentina and I spoke zero Spanish! After three months, I think I can have a conversation with a native, or at least can take orders.

What’s next after?

I come back to university in September and maybe, next summer, I can go somewhere else in South America and do the same thing all over again.

 

Thank you very much Janni, we'll miss you!!

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