I’ve been distributing food to homeless people for a few months now (recycling food, as we call it). It just happened, one fine day, without having sought it out consciously. I was inspired by Maam-Mara’s 2 communiqués «A Plea for Humanity, for a Better World» and « How to Manifest Benevolence and Mutual Help».

Maam-Mara is the president of Stéllaire, a voluntary organisation in Paris, which is also a training school and which I joined 5 years ago.

I was walking down the «Ramblas» (a neighbourhood in Barcelona), on my way back from picking up can rings to use in my craft making, when I saw, to my great surprise, a very well-dressed man taking sandwiches, salads, and yet more sandwiches out of a dustbin, like a magician taking rabbits out of a top hat !  It surprised me so much that the next day, driven by curiosity, I looked in the same place and discovered large amounts of food, in the same dustbin.

Not long beforehand, I had started to ask chemists for small samples (creams, soaps, toothpaste). I was distributing them amongst street people, so that they could take a little care of themselves and not let themselves go.

«And I’m here,
for you

for everyone»
News from the Chain 
of the Heart


Today, Tuesday, January 31st, is a very special day. It’s a birthday, Cristobal’s 53rd birthday. Nothing would indicate that this deserves to be a special celebration, but it’s the birthday of a person who lives in the street.

Once the recipe chosen, (the one I’m sharing with you at the end of this article, thanks to the fantastic invention, Youtube), after a good few hours’ preparation and some impromptu recycling with ribbons and cardboard boxes to transport my cakes, I went, joyfully, to the Ramblas, looking forward to celebrating this happy birthday with Cristobal and his friends.

What a joy to see Cristobal and his friends’ surprised faces when I put the two cakes on the benches (insufficient and rather small), situated at the start of Barcelona’s Ramblas. Once the candles were blown out and after sharing the cake, there were birthday gifts.

I decided to combine the two things : the distribution of small samples and food.  This is how this extraordinary adventure started. And I say « extraordinary » adventure for two reasons:

Congratulations to Judith for her actions, from all the Stéllaire team, and we wish Cristobal a belated happy birthday !

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News from the Chain of the Heart
  1. 1.It enables me to put into practice the two initiatives launched by Maam-Mara some several months ago already:  «The Chain of Mutual Help and Solidarity» and «the Chain of the Heart».

  2. 2.I’ve been able to participate in the circle of love and fraternity which is being built, little by little, day by day, between all the street people  We are almost like a family, or at least, this is how I see them.

When Cristobal, really pleased, explained to me that the coming Tuesday, the 31st of January, would be his birthday, I promised to make two cakes so that we could all celebrate it together. No sooner said than done !

No detail was left out: there were even coloured candles to blow out, put on the cakes by his friend Antonio. I had bought them in a bar, run by a nice Pakistani, near where I live.

I gave Cristobal three solidarity purses, three recycled purses, which I make with my small group of colleagues.  Sergio, a solitary figure, liked by no-one, had bought them the day before and wanted them to be given to someone.  His words touched my heart.  I talked to him about the next day’s birthday.  If he agreed, I would give them to Cristobal on his behalf and in his name.

His friends themselves performed small, improvised and spontaneous musical and dance numbers

One of his companions transcribed the text of a song by Antonio Molina (soy minero) which Cristóbal particularly likes, in a cyber café.  I remarked upon the effort the generous gesture had taken (listen, stop, transcribe all the words of this song by hand).

These moments of laughter, of songs and improvised numbers, created a beautiful climate of fraternity between us all, making us forget, for a moment, the hard conditions of the street.

I would like to thank them all, with all my heart, for having allowed me to participate in this beautiful street birthday celebration, so special.

All my gratitude and my friendship for them all.  A thousand thank you !!!

P.S. : You’ll find the recipe for the orange cake with chocolate on the Youtube site : under the name «Orange Cake with Aina Chocolate

MAAM-MARA, Patrick, Bruno, Marylise and Marie-Claude

Charitable Works