Last week, JoJo founder Laura asked if we should ever abandon our sustainable aid ethos when it comes to helping those in desperate need, particularly the Syrian refugees. The core of our charity work is to always focus on sustainable methods where possible. That’s why we were delighted with the latest update from our Nema manager Lisa – we recently funded the building of an oven to equip the local villagers with the tools to make and sell their own bread. They have now diversified into cake making, with fantastic enterprise opportunities.
The ladies in Naunde have been doing a great job baking bread and working together to gain some money and some dignity. Like everyone here they are impatient for great things but are not quite sure how to get there.
Step by step we’re trying to show them.
This week we taught them how to make cakes.
The mestre de bolos (master of the cakes) Carlos and the whole Nema team (only hoping to get free cake I imagine) turned up on Saturday to cake baking lessons.
It’s amazing what turns up when you’re looking for it. A few weeks ago, mission in Pemba: get cake pans. Easier than it sounded when before I got to town I met a boy on the street selling them. When I said I wanted 2 he immediately dropped the price, so, good to go.
It’s not quite as easy when you don’t have electricity and the mixing of the sugar and margarine to Carlos’s satisfaction took a long time (and time stands still when you also have malaria and really just want to be in bed).
Eventually, the ladies are allowed to add the eggs, fold in the flour (my mum taught me to bake well) and line the pans with margarine.
Off to the oven, it’s so hot that it really doesn’t take long to bake a cake here, and in the meantime the kids licked the bowls clean; happy memories!
25 mins later……………………
Now the ladies are ready to bake cakes to order, taking orders from locals for weddings, parties etc, first up I have an order to take to my mates in Pemba at the weekend, but Abudu will be forced to buy some for his upcoming wedding, followed shortly by the birth of his first child.
There are plenty more people we can encourage to buy cakes: of course the cost is graduated: higher for me than anyone else, that’s gratitude………