Chapter 2

And let's put water in the lentil

It was March 3, 2022. A few days ago, Russia had invaded Ukraine and thousands of refugees were beginning to arrive in neighboring countries. According to newspapers of the time, in those early days aproximately 15,000 Ukrainians were arriving daily at Berlin Central Station.

Daia, Brazilian and resident of the city, quickly decided that she needed to take action and help. She opened the kitchen cupboard and she had a few kilos of lentils, a portion of vegetables and a heart the size of the helplessness of these people. There, she decided to prepare a piping hot soup and welcome them at the station. On that day, she still didn't grasp the full extent of the need, so she did what she could with what she had at home. However, it took her less than 24 hours to realize that the demand was much greater.

Daia is from Rio Grande do Sul, one of those people you feel close to after just five minutes of conversation. Practical and warm-hearted, she's always getting the gang together, organizing events, planning trips... but bah, this girl doesn't stop!

Through social networks, whatsapp groups and knocking on the neighbors' doors, she mobilized a battalion, and within a day, she had established a full-fledged catering operation in her own kitchen.

The next morning, she already received about 30 volunteers who were divided into tasks. Some chopped vegetables, others cooked the soup. Some packed, some delivered, and others managed work shifts and donations. More organized than many companies out there.

On the busiest days, they delivered four sets of 200 lunchboxes each day. The first volunteers arrived at 7 am and the last ones left around midnight. It was physically demanding work and emotionally heart-wrenching.

It didn't take long for the “Brazilian soup” to become a staple for those in need. Daia found out a few days later that in a Telegram group for refugees, lentil soup had gained fame and that they were already arriving in Berlin waiting for the warm one. On trails full of insecurity and fear, lentil soup was the only certainty upon arrival.

After 11 days and almost 6000 lunchboxes delivered, the German government got organized and took over the work of the volunteers. As a result, “Daia Lentilha ltda” gradually slowed down until, in June of the same year, it closed its doors. The volunteers, who were mostly strangers, are now a large group of friends. Yet another community that this incredible woman has gathered and maintains with high doses of laughter and high spirits.

Daia is truly special, she has this magnetic charm that draws people in Her initiative and generosity once again made a world of difference. However, she alone would never have been able to help so many people, because every great woman needs a tribe to make history.

To the victims of this horrible war, I extend all my empathy and love. And may the world be blessed with more and more Daias and fewer Putins

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