Report
ESN Country: 
Netherlands
Marleen Pol
Date of the event: 
Saturday, 14 November, 2015
Goal of the event: 
Give Homeless people in Groningen a nice day where they could get clothes for free, get a haircut, coffee/tea/snacks and enjoy a nice atmosphere.
Short description of the event: 
On Saturday the 14th we helped out at the Street Store project for homeless people. The idea was to give the homeless people a nice day where they have the opportunity to shop for free, get a haircut and some nice food and a warm coffee/tea. Together with some internationals, the ESN SocialErasmus Committee engaged in nice conversations while serving food and coffee. It was a great success and an awesome experience seeing the homeless people so happy about things that we would take for granted.
Did you cooperate with another organisation?: 
Yes
Write down the names of the partners you collaborated with.: 
Street Store,
Duration of the volunteer activity: 
8h
Number of international students: 
10
Number of "locals" involved: 
70
Number of ESNers involved: 
7
Feedback: 
The activity was very nice! It was a big event, also organized by many other volunteers under the name 'Street Store'. The ESN SocialErasmus Committee of ESN Groningen joined this group of volunteers and was responsible for serving coffee, tea, cupcakes, fries, pizza, other food and socializing with the homeless people. There was a singer and guitar player and even hairdressers! The homeless people could get everything for free. They really enjoyed it. In this way, international students could help a bit and give something back to the local society during their period abroad. Although there could not be many internationals students involved (because that might scare homeless people away), this was definitely a high quality event! I would recommend other ESN Sections to look whether a group of volunteers in your country want to set up a Street Store as well and try to join them for example with the food/coffee/tea and talking with the homeless people! In this way, the internationals students contribute to a local initiative for the community.

Some points for improvement:
- We had no idea which moment during the day (10.00-16.00) most of the homeless people would arrive, therefore sometimes the volunteers (international students) had not so much to do, while during some times of the day it was really crowded and busy. We could not control this even though we tried to make sure that there were not to many volunteers at the same time present. We worked with shifts during the day.
- Some homeless people were very shy and did not speak English, so the interaction with the international students was not optimal
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