The fireplace is not open at the home of Brian Abel (44) at the moment. Not until I have to do this: “I have blankets and candles, I’ll be fine. Everything just got a lot more expensive.” The price hike comes at a bad time for Abel. Having worked as a handyman, mechanic, road worker, dishwasher and the last 25 years as a warehouse worker in Bantar, he has been at home for two years now. He lost his job during the first corona wave. Because of his debts, he goes to the official, and gets his food from the food bank.
It took some getting used to at first. “I was ashamed,” Abel says. “But now it is normal, I even share my food with the next door neighbor. She also goes to the food bank, but because she earns a little more, she has to pay ten euros a month. And she gets less food because she is single. So what I don’t need I give her to her” .
Everything for the family
He also tries to be generous with his children. He has an 18-year-old son, a 16-year-old daughter, and a 15-year-old daughter who lives with her mother but visits them every weekend. “They are everything to me. No matter how little I have, if they ask me for five euros, they will get it.” From a previous marriage, Abel has two adult children with whom he does not communicate.
Then there were two more daughters from his last marriage. One died in his bed, only five months old; The other died at the age of 14 due to a brain stem fracture. “I remember well, I just got home from work and got a phone call. Your daughter is not breathing anymore.” I quickly take a taxi to the AMC, I pray, I cry, I hope all is well. I saw her three days ago I gave her money to buy some good stuff.”
He never fully recovered from the pain of that loss. And he has lost more people: a brother, his father, and recently an uncle.
He visits his mother every day, she is a heart patient and he is practically her caregiver. “If she calls me now because she needs me, I’m already on my way. Family is everything to me, to everyone I think.” Abel grew up in a large family, the youngest of eight sons.
As close as his family is to him, he finds it difficult to turn to them for money. “I don’t want to be ashamed, you know. Again: my kids are on vacation in Spain with their mom and their families. They asked me if I wanted to come, but then they have to pay everything for me. I don’t.”
In this case, it is preferable to contact the authorities or the official. It wasn’t always that good before. “My previous boss wasn’t sure about the savings. I wanted to renovate my house for a long time, but I can’t.”
He is happy with the new manager. He receives 50 euros per week, and an additional amount if necessary. “Like when I had to go to the bike repair shop. I need that bike because I can’t afford the tram and metro. And when it was my son’s birthday I got money to buy something for him. So it’s okay now. I don’t get any bills I’m so afraid of Throw it under the sofa. Yeah, that’s how it was then.”
His children also do well: his eldest son works in a supermarket, the middle one goes to school and the youngest goes to work and school. On the weekends, Abel cooks for them – preferably from Suriname – and now and then they play a game. “But they’re a little bit older, so they do whatever they want. One on her phone, one on Playstation, and the third outside. It would be nice to go with them for the weekend. And then they eat out, they can order whatever they want. I definitely make them happy with that.” “.
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last week’s wish
Kansenbank in East Amsterdam Weekly it helps 250 people who are not eligible for the food bank. Parool readers jointly donated more than 8000 euros to Kansenbank.
Since the cost of living has risen, Marijke Dost, 45, can no longer make ends meet. That is why she visits Kansenbank every Friday at the community center De Archipel in the East, where food packages and things are distributed to people who do not qualify for the food bank.
Dust knows Kansenbank through her mother, Rasidan Mohamed (69), who has been collecting a bag of vegetables, fruit, toilet paper and other items every week for two years.
Yasmin Ishaq, founder of Opportunity Bank, saw that more and more neighbors were in trouble during the first coronavirus bombardment in 2020 and wanted to help them easily. 250 people come every Friday to get a bag and more people sign up every week.
Isaac is literally silent when she hears the number of donations received last week: more than 8000 euros. “I think we can help a lot of people who are caught between two chairs with this. This relates to people who cannot make ends meet, as well as other vulnerable groups. And every week ten to fifteen people are added. So yes, I will see a lot of happy faces.”
“I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the donors, and I hope they understand that they created Kansenbank as well. We wouldn’t be here every week without them.”