Barry White


When the weather is snowy, like last week, then I am in thinking mode. It
reminds me that the heater must go up. Unfortunatly here in Rotterdam in
the ‘rich’ Netherlands there are many families who can’t afford to put the
heater up anymore. And it’s not only happening among refugees, foreigners,
junkies and what not? But among all different ‘ordinary’ Rotterdam inhabitants.
There is this couple C. and S. Sies from ‘de voedselbank’ (foodbank) who
arrange free food for more than 1100 families in Rotterdam, who aren’t capable
anymore to pay every bill. Every year this amount of families is growing,
which makes me really sad. Some weeks ago I read an article (I think it was
in the Rotterdams Dagblad) about this couple. I was really impressed about
them.. Even Netwerk made a report on Dutch national TV.

There are more people in my hometown which I really respect and admire.
They make me question my own daily pursuits a lot. Questions, for example,
like: Does it all make any sense? I sometimes know, sometimes I don’t. What
I do know is that people like the Rev. Visser from the Pauluskerk (church) is
also one hell of a guy. There should be a statue of him. The way he (for more
than 25 years) keeps on standing for the rights of the homeless, junkies,
prostitutes (and what not…) with so much energy. Just awesome! Give him and
his team props.

Or grandma Willy van der Poel from ’t Vinkje, who runs a very special daycare
centre (for over 50 years) for kids in spangen (one of the poorest areas in
R’dam). For years she did that in a three room appartment where she took care
of about 70 kids (sometimes day and night) and for a very longtime without any
help from the (local) government. In 2003 the government finally arranged a
bigger place for her and ‘her’ kids.

You know…

Netwerk – Armoede in Rotterdam
‘t Vinkje

Photo: Nicole Martens – Josephplein


  1. vos b.
    Posted March 7, 2005 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Word, Reverend Visser and his teammates are special indeed. One night when i came from a night of heavy binging in cafe de Consul a friend of mine knocked on the churchdoor. He was drunk as well. When i drove back with my bike to see where he had gone, he had been let in by Bert, one of the Pauluskerk team members. After 15 minutes he got back out and was flabbergasted. He had been given a grand tour throughout the church. Then it was my turn. What the heck, go and have look for yourself… Especially when the junkies are sleepin’ like babies. You won’t believe your eyes because you can’t even imagine of what it looks inside without having been there… word

  2. silvia
    Posted March 8, 2005 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Check out the life of Darren Devonshire (Devvo) on
    The sunny side up.

  3. max
    Posted March 8, 2005 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    “They make me question my own daily pursuits a lot.”

    i think the people you mention in yr post are heroes, special people. But we can also help making the world go round more smooth. Just by listening to our concious and from that it’s a very very small step to helping others. You know i even believe that by helping yourself being more kind, frank, open and what automatically help others.

    i hope i don’t sound too biblically.

  4. de vogel
    Posted March 8, 2005 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    biblical – schmiblical… je hebt gewoon gelijk en ‘when you’re right, you’re right. And you, you’re always right!’

    (de 1e herkenner van deze ‘quote’ wint een HuMobisten sticker, gemaakt door de altijd gelijkhebbende TMN!) – vergeet niet je emailadres in het vakje ‘Email Address’ in te vullen.

    Tante Koffie mag niet meespelen, want die heeft die film al zo vaak gezien dat het niet leuk meer is…