Expatica news

Homeless in Amsterdam advertise ice cream

24 November 2004

AMSTERDAM — Dozens of homeless people have appeared on the streets of Amsterdam sporting warm jackets emblazoned with an advert for ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s.

The scheme is the brain child of the Augustinian nuns of Warmoesstraat to help pay for the food and shelter they provide for homeless people. Warmoesstraat is near the city’s main red light district where many homeless people gather. 

The nuns say they are offering businesses the opportunity  to advertise in a socially responsible way in exchange for a donation to the convent’s coffers. Due to the advancing years of many of their members, the nuns now have to pay people to perform some of their services, including distributing free sandwiches to the homeless.

Ben & Jerry’s is the first company to sign up to the scheme. Homeless people who volunteer are given a warm jacket with the advert for the company on the back. The campaign is scheduled to run for several months.

“We prefer to call them ‘people of the street’. The words beggar or homeless immediately give rise to a negative image,” a spokesperson for the nuns said.

“We are giving them the opportunity to give something back and that is good for their self-worth, ” she told newspaper Algemeen Dagblad. 

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news