Casian is a companion in Iași. A few months ago, he joined the street outreach team lead by Dana, the association social worker.
As spring is here, we will reduce the street outreaches to develop other actions. Until now, it was everyday from Monday to Friday. This evolution is the occasion for us to discuss with Casian about his perception of the “Prânzul de noapte” (Night Meal) program and his upcoming projects.
Casian, can you introduce yourself shortly?
My name is Casian, I am 29 and I was born on 23th of June.
You have a special task in Emmaus: can you explain us what is it?
I am involved in the “Prânzul de Noapte” (Night Meal) program. Every evening, we help people in need: clothes, meal, tea. We call it “maraude” (from the French word).
How are organized the “maraudes”?
It takes place every day, starting at 4pm. We go to several places in Iași: Agronomy, at Angelica’s, House Lavric, the Train Station, the Night Shelter, Tudor neighborhood. It lasts more or less 2 hours. We provide people with food, tea, blankets, clothes, shoes.
Are all the beneficiaries homeless people?
A part of the people we help at the train station is. The others have a place to sleep. Not real houses, rather makeshift shelters.
Since when have you got involved in this program?
Since last year, in November.
Do you like it?
Of course. I like to help poorest people, to give them something good. They are very grateful, it is rewarding.
How is the “maraude” organized?
Every morning, we do the food shopping in Kaufland, we buy what we need for the ciorba (minced meat for the meatballs, vegetables), the sandwiches (bread, cașcaval cheese, ham), and the tea (lemon, sugar). On Monday and Tuesday, it is the restaurant Buena Vista which makes the soup (ciorba). On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, it is the restaurant În Cuib.
After the shopping, I give a hand in the shop for the rest of the morning. After lunchtime, I make the sandwiches and the tea. It takes one hour of preparation.
We leave at 4pm. We put all we have prepared in the car: sandwiches, soup, bowls and spoons, tea and glasses, clothes, shoes.
After the maraude, we come back to the community, I clean the cooking pots.
How does it work in the team?
Dana gives the clothes to the people, she writes in her notebook what do they need. She has a notebook where she writes everything: names, demands… She is charged to find shoes, clothes, candles for the homeless people.
I distribute the bread and the tea. Radu pours the soup. It is organized. This way works well.
What kind of bond do you have with the beneficiaries?
I talk with them, I know them well: I have met with them everyday for 6 months. Generally, they appreciate our work. With some of them, it is not so easy.
What do you like most in this task?
When people are satisfied of our work, when we can help them correctly. We adapt our work depending of the conditions: when it is very cold, we give more blankets. We lack of blankets, of thick socks for winter. We give what they ask, when we have it. Now the weather is warmer, we are gonna give lighter clothes. We do depending of the seasons.
You have done already “maraudes” with foreign students. How was it?
I like that such a group get involved in our action. It makes possible to meet people who take care of the others. We organize it together. For example, last time, I poured the soup and they gave it. We share the work. During those “special maraudes”, it is not different. We just need to get more organized. I can show them because I know better, then we can work together.
Do you wish to speak about you?
I have been at Pașcani (near Iași) from the 8th class (age 14), then at Târgu Frumos (near Iași) for the 12th class (age 18), in a professional training. I have done two trainings: agriculture and painting. I finished school in 2010.
How did you hear about Emmaus?
By Ioana (ed: companion in Emmaus Iași): she was with me at Pașcani. I came in Emmaus in 2014. I have met again a lot of people I knew already from when I was little.
What do you want to do when there is no more “maraude”?
I want to search for a job: either in automobile cabling, as I did last year, either in automobile cleaning.