Community bakery offers women skills development

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ACFS Your Local Bakery in Jabavu, Soweto, empowers local women to create independent sustainable livelihoods by providing them with the skills and knowledge to start their own home-based bakery businesses.

A Tiger Brands-funded community bakery in partnership with local NPO ACFS Community Education and Feeding Scheme is encouraging the growth of sustainable livelihoods among vulnerable women in Soweto, Johannesburg, by training them on how to bake and start their home-based bakery business.

ACFS Your Local Bakery was established in 2019 with a donation of industrial kitchen equipment from Tiger Brands., including ovens. Tiger Brands worked alongside ACFS to provide training to the women and appointed a head baker.

Women identified as vulnerable from the surrounding community and who are the primary caregivers to their families are offered skills training over a period of one year. During the year-long programme, women rotate between the bakery and food garden as they learn how to grow and care for a food garden, and how to bake and run a home-based bakery business.

To date, more than 90 women across Soweto have been trained, many of whom have gone on to start a small food garden or home-based bakery business to generate a sustainable income for themselves and their families.

“When you empower a woman with the skills to generate a sustainable livelihood, you bring prosperity and security to her household. ACFS is grateful to work alongside Tiger Brands to assist in the transformation of women especially those from marginalised communities, says Bertha Magoge, Executive Director, Community Education.

Tiger Brands’ vision for the bakery is underlined by the company’s efforts to enable sustainable livelihoods and nurture economic participation in the communities where we operate as a means to strengthen household food security.

“As one of Africa’s largest listed food producers our community efforts aim to equip vulnerable people with skills and resources which enable them to become independent and provide for their own nutritional needs,” says Preeya Naidu, Manager Socio-Economic Development, Tiger Brands. 

The bakery operates in two parts – providing goodwill feeding of community members in need and supporting an after-school feeding programme, and generating a small income to support the sustained operation of the business by selling baked goods. It currently produces 250 loaves of bread per day at a cost of R12 per loaf.

SA Positive News