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Estuar Foundation - Bucharest Social Center
QUARTERLY ACTIVITY REPORT
"COOKING TIME" PROJECT
Cooking Time activity began in November, when the renovation of the Social Centre
finished. This renovation lasted longer than it was planned to because our users
wanted to be involved and to participate in this project actively. Because of
this involvement, some of them learned to paint and to do small repairs.
On 1st November, during the biweekly meeting with the users, we announced the
beginning of the "Cooking Time " activity and the fact that all the
users who come to the Social Centre will have a meal (45 persons)
Time" activity is one of the most important activities for our users, because
their incomes seldom rise above the minimun level of subsistence. The positive
effects this activity will bring in their lives, both by eating the meals and
by acquiring new personal abilities for the users who do not know how to prepare
a warm meal, will have as a result the increase of the independence and the quality
of their lives.
During the bemonthly meetings with the users, we discussed
the fact that their work would help other 45 persons to have lunch at least 2
times a week. At the meeting, we also discussed the dishes that the users wanted
to be prepared during the "Cooking Time". The usres proposed that the
"Cooking Time" would take place on Tuesdeys and Thursdays.
Decebal Voiculescu, who is a social worker in the Social Centre and has a cook
diploma, is responsible from the staff. 12 users were interested in participating
in this activity. In order to involve all the participants and to create the conditions
of a learning process, there were created 2 teams of 6 users each. In establishing
the number of the users for each team, the conditions and the space in the kitchen
were taken into account.
After establishing the teams, we began the activity.
The users were taught the hygiene rules and the safety of work by Decebal. The
shopping for this activity is done by the users who participate in the "Cooking
Time", supervised by Decebal.
Since November, every Tuesday and
Thursday, we cook food for 45 users. A team of 6 people works on Tuesday, and
the other team on Thursday.
As to the prepared menu, we tried to diversify
the dishes as much as we could, and this thing was appreciated both by the users
who participate in the "Cooking Time", because they had opportunity
to learn how to prepare more dishes and by the users who had lunchin the canteen
of the Social Centre.
During the "Cooking Time" activity, people
follow a working plan, that was established formerly. The activity begins with
the personal hygiene of the users who are involved in this activity (washing their
hands, etc.). Then, they wash up the dishes that are to be used. They clean the
area, the table, they take the necessary tools and they are told some of the safety
rules again (i.e. they must be careful when using the knives or the cooker.)
are 3 teams of two users each in order to increase the efficiency and ensure the
covering of the whole process of preparing the meal. Decebal explains, in detail,
the technological process and every team chooses the stages it will cover.
team prepares and slices the meat, another team washes the vegetables, the last
one fries the onion or the meat etc. Each team changes its duties and its members
every week, so that those who participate could go further through the whole process
of preparing the meal. When the meal is ready, one of the teams sets the tables,
another team clears the tables and cleans the canteen after than the users eat,
and the third one does the washing up.
meal is served in the canteen of the Social Center , which has a capacity of 24
seats. That is why there are two series of users who have lunch. The dishes that
were served were i.e. pilaw with mushrooms and olives, beans with sausages, pasta,
peas with meat, vegetables soup, pork soup etc.
users attend the "Cooking Time" with great pleasure, because they don't
only learn to cook, but at the end they also receive the gratitude of the other
users, who are the best examining board for them. Furthermore, by working together
and supporting each other, there is an increasing of the initiative, opening and
communication between them. Now, many of them bring their own recipes they find
in different magazines or cookery books and they discuss them in the group.
On the other hand, the meal offered as a result of the "Cooking Time"
is very appreciated by the other users, who have the certainly that they have
a nourishing meal, at last twice a week.
From the beginnings of this
activity, we noticed that the number of the users who come to the Social Center
has increased on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If the average is of approximately 48
users a day, Tuesday and Thursday the number of the users increases to 55-60.
This made us increase the number of the portions, without affecting
the quality of the meal and without needing further founds, by carefully selecting
the stores where we do this shopping.
The activity of preparing the meal
during the "Cooking Time" begans at 9 a.m. because some dishes need
more time to be ready, and lunch is served at 12.30.
In the first two
weeks there were some difficulties concerning the quantities that were used and
the number of users who had lunch, but every time the users who cook prepared
a little more food, so that every user of the Social Center could have a warm
meal that day.
In order to replace the plates that are sometimes broken,
we managed to receive a donation of 3 sets of 12 plates each, from one of our
Concerning the last week of December, because the Social
Center will be closed from 20 December, we decided to organize a traditional Christmas
lunch for the users of the Social Center (we estimate to participate about 150
users), that will take place on 19th December, at 13.00, in the Social Center.
The users asked me to Thank You for the help you offered them with this project,
and also wish you Mary Christmas and A Happy New Year.
Coordinator of the Social Center
a more recent report here
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