Feeding mind and body at the Soup Kitchen


The Soup Kitchen in Wellington has started a library

It is the brainchild of community worker Natasha Rerekura and one of the soup kitchen’s regulars, Muigal Kimani, more commonly known as Kim Sawa Sawa.

“We inspired each other to set this up,” Rerekura said.

“The reason it started was I noticed with some of the guys that they were avid readers but there was no place for them to read.”

The closure of the central library had taken away a major indoor space where they could go and the replacement pop-up centres, such as Arapaki on Manners St, didn’t have the same kind of space for them.

A call went out for books and people quickly responded: a few dozen different books came in, more than enough to help fill the space.

Rerekura said some of the most popular books were ones on culture, classic cars, travel and crosswords.

She’d noticed too that the guys would talk about what they were reading with each other.

Compassion Soup Kitchen manager Gary Sutton said the space the library was installed in was a place where people accessing their services could relax in during the day, in an environment where they were treated with dignity – a major value underpinning the work of the Soup Kitchen.

“We feel like collectively we’re doing something together here. We provide the books and the space and we try to support our guests as best we can,” he said, “They do see each other as a whanau.”


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News category: New Zealand.

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