Ending Hunger with the InterNations Volunteer Groups

Chronic hunger affects around 805 million people worldwide. InterNations Volunteer Group Consuls Elisabeth, Jacken, Alejandra, Dianka and Susanna are doing their part in working towards the goal of World Food Day, which takes place on 16 October, to make food available for everyone.

Distributing Food and Helping Children Grow Up

Jacken Zheng, Beijing, Guangai School
“If you want to help the underprivileged, you should have a clear goal and focus and have a long-term vision.”

Beijing-Feeding Orphaned Children
Jacken Zheng is one of the Consuls of the Beijing Volunteer Group. Together with the members, he works to provide monthly food support to orphaned children. Volunteers have the opportunity to bring food to the school or help prepare meals there. That way, they don’t only make sure the children don’t go hungry, they also get to interact with them. “We cook together. We play together. We try to understand their stories, their thoughts about the future, their gift,” Jacken says.
Already, many more people have joined their efforts and they hope to help the children grow up, too. So far, 16 students have received funding to attend junior middle school.

Elisabeth Grimsø, Bangkok, Duang Prateep Foundation
“I think the best thing is to see happy children but also happy volunteers!”

Bangkok-Lunch With Children
InterNations members in Bangkok also support their local community. With the help of their Consul, Elisabeth Grimsø, they prepare and eat lunch with children at the Duang Prateep Foundation. “Together with the volunteers, we help serve the food and prepare the table. And obviously a big job is the ice-cream scooping after lunch! The children absolutely love this special little treat.”
But the group’s activities go far beyond ice-cream scooping. “We help finding sponsors for the children, so that they can stay in school after they ‘graduate’ from the Duang Prateep kindergarten.”

Eating Is a Basic Thing

Susanna Kukaj Rossi, Rome, Street Feeding
“To eat is a basic thing. It is difficult to do anything on an empty belly.”

Rome-Feeding the Homeless

Together with other members of her Volunteer Group and the help of an organization called Sant Egidio, Susanna started to take food for homeless people out onto the streets of Rome. The best thing for her, though, is not just the opportunity to feed the homeless but to offer them the opportunity to interact with the volunteers. “They are not just waiting for food but also have a chat,” Susanna explains. “The chat is just as important to them as the food.”

Dianka Elodie Songo, Brussels, Les Samaritains
„The feeling I get by helping others, and by seeing all those who want to join me and help too, makes me feel that I have achieved something.”

Brussels-Feeding The Homeless

The Volunteer Group in Brussels, led by their Consul Dianka Elodie Songo, is also serving food to the homeless. For her, it’s about drawing attention to those who are often overlooked and to give something back to the community. “I chose food distribution because it gives us volunteers the chance to get in contact with homeless people, listen and hear their stories,” Dianka says. “It is important to talk to them and understand the fact that they are first human, and then homeless.” The Brussels Volunteer Group supports the local organization Les Samaritains, which is often short on volunteers to help with the food distribution.

Alejandra Müller, Berlin, Berliner Tafel
“When I think about all the people that will enjoy a warm meal due to our work, it is a nice feeling that compensates for the hard work.“

Berlin-Sorting Food Donations

The Berlin Volunteer Group, on the other hand, works with the Berliner Tafel to collect unused food from local supermarkets and give it to people in need. Group Consul Alejandra Müller was impressed with the organization’s work from the beginning and was happy to support them. “For me this concept of collecting leftovers from supermarkets to repackage them was totally new and a very good idea!” The hard work of the InterNations volunteers seems to pay off. Not only do the group members enjoy the activity and are happy to lend a helping hand, but the thought of all the people who get to enjoy a warm meal because of them makes it worthwhile.
At the same time, they have developed a great relationship with the Berliner Tafel. The organization is happy to get in touch with Alejandra whenever they are short on volunteers.

Helping and Learning

Throughout their volunteer work in their communities, all Consuls have learned a thing or two about how to approach volunteer projects aimed at fighting chronic hunger. Jacken realized early on that “if you want to help the underprivileged, you should have a clear goal and focus, as well as a long-term vision.”

Elisabeth found out that it makes a lot of sense to involve the community and the foundation that the Bangkok Volunteer Group is partnered with directly. “They get a much better deal on food than we would, so we let them order the food and we pay for it. This also allows them to go to local vendors, which in turn helps the community.”

For our Brussels Consul Dianka, it is important to be well prepared from regular meetings, but all preparations aside, the most important thing is to “continue to enjoy it and know your limits.”
Susanna realized that it doesn’t need a big charity event to give something back. “I have learned that people can make a difference on a small scale. We don’t need 350 people or more to do something good.”

Image credit: 1) InterNations 2) Elisabeth Grimsø, 3) iStockphoto, 4) Dianka Elodie Songo, 5) Alejandra Müller

39 Responses to “Ending Hunger with the InterNations Volunteer Groups”

  1. good day

    how do I join the volunteer team

    regards

    edwin

  2. Hi Edwin,

    Thanks a lot for your interest in the InterNations Volunteer Program! To find out if there is a Volunteer Group in your InterNations Community, please check the Groups section on our website:

    https://www.internations.org/activity-group/

    If you’d like to start a new Volunteer Group yourself, please contact volunteerprogram@internations.org directly. Thanks!

    Best,
    Margit

  3. Do u have an outreaxh progeam in the Paris region ?

  4. Hi Bridget,

    Thank you for your interest in the InterNations Volunteer Program! We do indeed have a Volunteer Group in Paris. You can find more information here:

    https://www.internations.org/activity-group/6810

    Best,
    Margit

  5. I attend a small church in the eastern part of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, where we feed 70+ children several days a week–not through InterNations.

  6. Hello,

    I’m interested in volunteering to end hunger. Please let me know how I may join here.

    I can be reached via e-mail at vh3@nyu.edu.

    thanks so very much.

    Veronica Holton

  7. Hi Veronica,

    Thanks a lot for your interest in the InterNations Volunteer Program! To find out if there is a Volunteer Group in your InterNations Community, please check the Groups section on our website:

    https://www.internations.org/activity-group/

    If you’d like to start a new Volunteer Group yourself, please contact volunteerprogram@internations.org directly. Thanks!

    Best,
    Margit

  8. Hi
    I really want to be part of this volunteer group . I live in NYC and would like to join a group in the city . I am retired and have time to give . Please do contact me via email as I am travelling out of US till 10 Nov . Once back my phone will be operational again and the number is [redacted].
    Warm regards . Yasmin

  9. Hi Yasmin,

    Thank you for your interest in the InterNations Volunteer Program! We do indeed have a Volunteer Group in New York. You can find more information here:

    https://www.internations.org/activity-group/1676

    Best,
    Margit

  10. Hello,

    Do this project exist in London? If it does I would love to be part it.
    Please let me know?
    Regards,
    Lia

  11. Hi Lia,

    Thank you for your interest in the InterNations Volunteer Program! We do indeed have a Volunteer Group in London. You can find more information here:

    https://www.internations.org/activity-group/6570

    Best,
    Margit

  12. Hi, I like what I’m reading and I would like to volunteer to be one of the team.

    Please let me know how I can contribute my time to this organisation.

    Regards
    Fizza

  13. Hi Fizza,

    Thanks a lot for your interest in the InterNations Volunteer Program! To find out if there is a Volunteer Group in your InterNations Community, please check the Groups section on our website:

    https://www.internations.org/activity-group/

    If you’d like to start a new Volunteer Group yourself, please contact volunteerprogram@internations.org directly. Thanks!

    Best,
    Margit

  14. It’s a great heart and loving care, expecting nothing in return from the recipients. It is a God given talent to those who owns the passion of giving and caring. Please kindly be advised plastic cups are not the best for the vegetable soup. I wish that I am wrong and wish that Susana’s cups are paper cups for the soup.

    With kind regards to all ,
    Danilo
    Health Safety and Environment Deputy head

  15. Hi Pune Members of Internations!

    I loved the concept shared by volunteers from other cities in feeding the orphaned and underprivileged children.

    I believe we can forma group in Pune with similar purpose and get going!

    As of now, I am going to be in Pune soon after my relocation.

    Let us prepare a blueprint of the proposed project and make a start.

    My best wishes to everyone reading this message!

    Thank you.

  16. Hi Vinay,

    Thanks for your interest in the InterNations Volunteer Program! Unfortunately, we don’t have a Volunteer Group in Pune yet. However, if you should be interested in getting a group started yourself, please contact us directly via volunteerprogram@internations.org. Thanks!

    Best,
    Margit

  17. keep up the good work of fighting hunger

  18. Hello from William in Costa Rica, I get and appreciate your news letter.
    Do you have a volunteer food program in Costa Rica. Contact me via e-mail or telephone [redacted].

  19. Hi William,

    Thanks for your interest in the InterNations Volunteer Program! Unfortunately, we don’t have a Volunteer Group in Costa Rica yet. However, if you should be interested in getting a group started yourself, please contact us directly via volunteerprogram@internations.org. Thanks!

    Best,
    Margit

  20. Kindly tell me whom to contact someone(inter nation) in Oman for distributing food to underprivileged . I also want to join a group doing this campaigns . Thanks

  21. Hi Aisha,

    Thanks for your interest in the InterNations Volunteer Program! Unfortunately, we don’t have a Volunteer Group in Oman yet. However, if you should be interested in getting a group started yourself, please contact us directly via volunteerprogram@internations.org. Thanks!

    Best,
    Margit

  22. I would like to VOLUNTEER and help INTER NATIONS in Brussels for the children. I can also cook well. Let me know

    Best regards

    Yasmin

  23. Hi Yasmin,

    Thank you for your interest in the InterNations Volunteer Program! We do indeed have a Volunteer Group in Brussels. You can find more information here:

    https://www.internations.org/activity-group/6570

    Best,
    Margit

  24. If there’s a way to help whether in Lima Perú or Santiago de Chile. Please count on me.

  25. Hi Cecilia,

    Thanks a lot for your interest in the InterNations Volunteer Program! Unfortunately, we don’t have a Volunteer Group in Lima yet, but there is one in Santiago de Chile. You can find more information here:

    https://www.internations.org/activity-group/6491

    Best,
    Margit

  26. I would like to be a volunteer. How can I get in contact? Who do I need to talk to?

    Please advise
    Thanks

    Jenny

  27. Hi Jenny,

    Thanks a lot for your interest in the InterNations Volunteer Program! To find out if there is a Volunteer Group in your InterNations Community, please check the Groups section on our website:

    https://www.internations.org/activity-group/

    If you’d like to start a new Volunteer Group yourself, please contact volunteerprogram@internations.org directly. Thanks!

    Best,
    Margit

  28. Greetings!

    I am an Internations member and would like to do a joint project with Internations on the World Food Day with that of the volunteers. I know World Food Day has passed but we can do this on a monthly or bi-annually in the Philippines.
    How can I get in touch with this group of ours in Internations? I am very interested as I am in the Rotary International that we are looking for partners for our projects for humanity. At this point in time, as I will be the President of our Rotary cllub come 2016, I would like to collaborate with other groups as early as now.

    More power to Internations!!

    Judith B. Ayson
    Vice President
    Rotary Club of Cosmopolitan Cubao
    District 3780

  29. Hi Judith,

    Thanks a lot for your interest in the InterNations Volunteer Program! I have passed on your enquiry on behalf of Rotary International to my colleagues who coordinate our Volunteer Program. Hope that helps!

    Best,
    Margit

  30. Would love to have news like this on planed events earlier, received this mail on 16-10-2015 on the day of event, and thus it leaves no time to plan and help.

  31. Hi Rodney,

    Thanks for your feedback! I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t have time to fit the event in question into your schedule – planning for that on the same day is indeed very short notice.

    However, please note that the general newsletter wasn’t intended as an event notification. This was just supposed to be an overview of various activities we have going on at the moment. If you’d like to learn more about upcoming events and activities in your InterNations Community, please have a look at the calendar in the Events section on our website.

    https://www.internations.org/calendar/

    Thanks!

    Best,
    Margit

  32. I am a retired school teacher who would like to volunteer with the feeding scheme projects. I am in SA.
    Please contact me as I am available immediately and want to make a difference.

  33. Hi Pravisha,

    Thanks a lot for your interest in the InterNations Volunteer Program! To find out if there is a Volunteer Group in your InterNations Community, please check the Groups section on our website:

    https://www.internations.org/activity-group/

    If you’d like to start a new Volunteer Group yourself, please contact volunteerprogram@internations.org directly. Thanks!

    Best,
    Margit

  34. How can I get involved and get others from the miami chapter involved? Do we have an ambassador here that offers volunteering? Thanks!

  35. Hi Johanna,

    Thanks a lot for your interest in the InterNations Volunteer Program! Unfortunately, we don’t have a Volunteer Group in Miami yet. However, if you should be interested in getting a group started yourself, please contact us directly via volunteerprogram@internations.org. Thanks!

    Best,
    Margit

  36. Hello! I think this is a good initiative. I’d like to know if there is some similar thing in Valencia (Spain).
    Thanks

  37. Hi Pura,

    Thanks for your interest in the InterNations Volunteer Program! Unfortunately, we don’t have a Volunteer Group in Valencia yet. However, if you should be interested in getting a group started yourself, please contact us directly via volunteerprogram@internations.org. Thanks!

    Best,
    Margit

  38. Please let me know how I can help out with world hunger.

  39. Hi Ellizabeth,

    Thanks a lot for your interest in the InterNations Volunteer Program! To find out if there is a Volunteer Group in your InterNations Community, please check the Groups section on our website:

    https://www.internations.org/activity-group/

    If you’d like to start a new Volunteer Group yourself, please contact volunteerprogram@internations.org directly. Thanks!

    Best,
    Margit

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