“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” – this popular quote is one that can be applied to many circumstances and that many people can gain from. In essence, it promotes independence and encourages sustainable skills. A local organisation called BREADrev has adopted this quote in a literal way and simply replaced the fish with bread – a food source that Africa would not be the same without. Producing and supplying the staple diet, which is an essential part of survival for many families living in poverty, is an easy way for entrepreneurs to gather an income. With the never-ending increase in groceries, the affordable price of the bread sold through this initiative benefits consumers as well.
The initiative is an invitation to individuals to build their skills and through the implementation of these skills and basic resources, increase their ability to support themselves and their families financially. The programme lasts for four to six weeks and includes a medium portable wood-fired rocket oven. BREADrev is the designer of these new low-cost ovens, which are cost-effective as they rely on small amounts of wood to function therefore requiring no electricity to function. These ovens are being produced for consumption as well, so that the profits made can be invested into the organisation.
The aim of the non-profit organisation is to create sustainable jobs by developing the necessary skills to build an entrepreneurial initiative. Through this process of job creation, the organisation is tackling the broad problem of poverty in South Africa. In a tough and competitive economic system, the inequality gap in South Africa is widening and entrepreneurship is a way for those who are unable to enter the workforce due to lack of education or social capital, to make a sustainable living. BREADrev is attempting to promote informal trading efforts in the country and to provide the necessary support to those who are unemployed or merely looking to expand their entrepreneurial skills. The learning experience is serious enough for its participants to learn, yet fun enough to keep them enthusiastic. In addition to the economic benefits, the initiative addresses social issues like health and nutrition as well by ensuring the baking process contains no additives or preservatives.
A mobile bakery school has been launched, from which ten students have recently graduated. These graduates are now faced with the challenge of setting up three BREADshops in Nkanini and in Langa. Members of BREADrev will now be involved in assisting these new shop-owners by offering further advice on how to make their new businesses successful. Following the success of previous attempts to establish BREADshops, with one shop in Langa earning a daily estimate of R450 through selling bread, rolls, pies and scones, BREADrev has decided to set up four more bakery schools in 2014.
The first of these four will be starting on 3 March in Delft. Thereafter, three more will open in Pollsmoor Prison, George and Bonnytown. The organisation, in union with UNISA and A Reaching Hand, plan on spending an estimated amount of R25 000 on each school. UNISA provides the educational training programmes that the initiative is based on. A Reaching Hand is a charity project that aims to empower people in underprivileged circumstances. Appeals are being made to individuals and companies to make donations to the initiative before the first one opens.
The public is also urged to support BREADrev by purchasing bakery products from the existing BREADshops or placing an order by calling 083 630 6861. More information can be found at: