The Belt and Road News Network>>BRI News>>Latest News

Chinese community offers food, solidarity against COVID-19 in Spain

   Xinhua   10:48, June 22, 2020

MADRID, June 21 (Xinhua) -- The Union of the Associations of Chinese Residents in Spain, which has its base in the Usera neighborhood in Madrid, has since May 22 been offering free meals as an act of solidarity for people who have been badly affected economically by the coronavirus crisis.

"This is a really good idea, because it helps people when they most need it. We have had some really hard times because of the pandemic and these initiatives help people to get by. We are really grateful," explained Darwin Obrador, an Ecuadorian builder, who is currently out of work because of the crisis.

Alexandra, waiting in the line, told Xinhua she had worked as a waitress before COVID-19 closed all of the restaurants.

"I think what the Chinese volunteers are doing is really good, because it helps us a lot in the situation we are in at the moment. Also they are really fast and they don't make you wait very long," she said.

In the kitchen which is situated close to offices of the Usera Town Hall, the President of the Union of the Associations of Chinese Residents in Spain, Xu Songling, told Xinhua that the idea initially was to help Chinese citizens, but the scheme was then expanded to everyone in the neighborhood who needed help.

With two chefs and six volunteers working, the organization feeds between 80 to 100 people every day.

"When you help your neighbor, you learn a lot of things; for example how to care for others and to feel gratitude yourself," said Yi Yi, one of the volunteers.

The consul counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Madrid, Zhu Jian, told Xinhua that the Chinese community was carrying out practical acts for the good of society. So far over 8,300 meals have been handed out to local residents and that this highlights the need to be united against the coronavirus and to maintain community values, he said.

The volunteers will keep up their efforts until Spain abandons the State of Alarm and people can start returning to their normal lives.