I’m a few thousand kilometers away from my home city, Not even a single euro in my bank account, tired and stinky, no plans for job… so why do I feel so confortable? Maybe cause for the first time of my life I feel usefull, with people in need, I share my experiences, and learn everydays about new cultures. You can recieve so much love when you give a hand…
Quentin Pennec :: Age 23 :: France
My Name is Quentin Pennec, I come from France and I’m 23 years old. I started to work at the age of 16 – as a cook – but I quickly got bored of the work, the hierarchy and many hours spent in a kitchen.
After a while considering the possibilities, I decided to pack my stuff and get away from my city. I spent almost two years in amazing South America!! When I came back to Europe, I was completely lost, I tried to go back to normal life, get a job but I failed after two weeks, then I escaped to Italy where I met a guy who told me about the refugee crisis. I started to think that I should concentrate my force and energy to help them. Little by little the idea was growing in my head and I took the decision to go for it!
I arrived full of determination to help in any way that I could. Then I met Zoe, a great local Greek woman – full of energy – she was running an Association called love in action! She distributes clothes and hygiene kits in Cherso camp, so I worked in her warehouse for a couple of weeks, but the idea to cook for people was always in the back of my mind…
Zoe introduced me to Pixi and Tom, they started together a community kitchen in Eko camp, they were cooking with refugees, for people in the camp. They told me they were leaving soon and I should replace them… Since then and with the help of my new collaborators and donators, we improved our cooking capabilities with a huge tent, storage and kitchen facilities. We manage to provide over a 1000 meals a day.
As I sleep in the camp, I’m quite well accepted within the community, I made lots of new friends and everyday I learn a bit more about Kurdish and Arabic culture. It’s sometimes a bit tough when we have to deal with the tensions in the camp and it always make me sad when I sometimes see people, especially kids, fighting for food during our distributions. I think no one should go throught that, especially people so traumatised by the war… so we work everyday to improve our distribution system, make things easier for us and for them and spreading the love.
I don’t know when I’ll leave the project, but I know that I’ll remember the great people working in our kitchen, all my life. Their determination of being part of the project. I will remember the smiles of these guys that says to me “thank you for giving me the chance to be a man again, to feel usefull for my people”. I will remember all these kids in the camp, running everywhere all day long and their smile, their “my friend”. These people lost everything, they keep on going anyway, that’s quite impressive… So I think I will take it back home; no matter what happens in your life, don’t give up, it can be better, can be worse, you have the choice.