The Art of Living organisation is a humanitarian NGO affiliated to the IAHV ( International Association of Human Values).
Art of Living is active in South Africa and their motto is: Strengthening the Individual by strengthening society though a variety of Stress release and mediation programs, rural and catastrophe outreach programs and other works that include:
– Blanket drives
– Water and sanitation education
– ART EXCEL for kids in under privileged situations
– Soup Kitchens with a difference
In Cape Town specifically a wonderful man, called Danny, has started theLadles of Love programme as part of one of the AOL initiatives. This is a registered Not for profit project with IAHV which was initially called the love kitchen, but upon the decision to start a facebook page we decided to change the name to Ladles of Love.
Our first kitchen began in July 2014 on St. Georges mall where we served around 70 people and this quickly grew to an average of around 200 meals every Tuesday.
In May this year I made contact with Sam from U-turn whose organisation is about feeding and rehabilitating homeless back into society. Every Friday they come and fetch food which is used in their kitchen for the week.
In August a homeless woman approached me who was working closely with the carpenter shop towards rehabilitation and part of her recovery was to run a soup kitchen with the support of the carpenter shop. She approached me and asked me to supply her the raw food which she would prepare for a soup kitchen every Saturday on Roeland Street. after a few weeks however her support unfortunately slipped away and i then offered her the support ofLadles of Love. This is when our second soup kitchen was launched which now runs every Saturday serving around 100 meals.
Then in June this year I attempted to launch a soup kitchen in the Seapoint area but was met with much resistance. After some months of negotiating we successfully launched our third soup kitchen on 12/11/15 at the Haven shelter in Napier Street. Being our first kitchen we served around 60 meals but I am certain this will also grow as we continue to serve this kitchen every Thursday.
All food is vegetarian and is freshly prepared in the kitchen of my restaurant (Doppio Zero) every week. The food is a thick wholesome broth of potatoes, butternut, carrots, lentils and rice with a careful blend of spices and cooked over a number of hours to create a nutritional flavoursome meal. Homeless people are human beings like you and me and therefore deserve a meal that has flavour and prepared with much love. So in total I would say we are preparing in the region of 550 meals a week.
Ladles of Love is just that and a few months back we decided to include soap and water for the people to wash their hands prior to eating and we now also offer blessings once they have collected their food.
Our next big project is the seated Christmas lunch on 6 December 2015. Last year we served 500 seated meals, 150 take away meals and around 1000 cups of juice. This is quite an expensive project and lol relies solely on the donations of the kind public to assist with this amazing day. Although, with the help of Jatin, we have managed to raise the necessary funds my vision for ladles is to get involved in sustainable projects which employ homeless people for a wage. So far this year Doppio Zero, through Ladles of Love, has employed a homeless person to assist with the preparation of all the food and we have also assisted in the successful application of id books for another 8 people. Therefore funding will become important in 2016 as Ladles of Love becomes involved in sustainable projects, the first of which is the purchasing of a shipping container which costs in the region of R20,000. This will be used as storage for the vegetable garden that Jesse, from Kulisa, has launched in the last few weeks on Harrington St. The aim of this garden is to employ homeless to maintain and grow vegetables for the purpose of selling to shops and restaurants. We are also in discussion to use this container to store all collected recyclable material (initially from Doppio Zero) such as bottles (plastic and glass), cardboard and tins which can be collected weekly in return for a fee. There is talk of a soap factory but this is still in early stages. Other ideas I have forLadles of Love is, like the carpenter shop, offer free showering, as well as free laundering facilities for the homeless people. My hope with these free services is that it will inspire more homeless people to make the choice to move off the street.
Finally i also have hope in 2016 that through these kitchens we can start implementing the breath water sound programme assisting these lost individuals to find their way again.
— Danny @ Doppio Zero, Cape Town.