News / Asia

Burma Bakehouse Helps Disadvantaged Women

Burma Bakehouse Helps Disadvantaged Womeni
X
March 05, 2013 4:19 PM
A group of bakers in Burma's former capital, Rangoon, is seeking to help disadvantaged women with training that goes beyond making bread and pastries. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Rangoon that the Yangon Bakehouse also provides life-skills classes to place Burmese women in the growing hospitality industry.
Burma Bakehouse Helps Disadvantaged Women
Daniel Schearf
A group of bakers in Burma's former capital, Rangoon, is seeking to help disadvantaged women with training that goes beyond making bread and pastries. The Yangon Bakehouse also provides life-skills classes to place Burmese women in the growing hospitality industry.

Thirty-nine-year-old Ma Moe Nge is learning to bake and said that when her nine-month apprenticeship is over she wants to start her own bakery.

"Before, I only saw this kind of food, but I didn’t know how to make it. Now, I've even surprised myself that I can make this kind of food. I am interested in it and I also feel proud of myself," she said.

She is one of several Burmese women training with Yangon Bakehouse, a social enterprise started by four female friends, three foreigners and one Burma national, to help other women in need.

Building skills

Co-founder American Heatherly Bucher said the training and modest wage helps many of the women get out of debt, rebuilds their dignity, and gives them hope.

"The bakehouse is a livelihood program training disadvantaged Myanmar [Burmese] women in both livelihood skills, culinary skills, front of house, hospitality and in life skills.  So, giving them skills from, you know, budgeting their personal finances to reproductive health to good nutrition to English class," said Bucher.

Co-founder Phyu Phyu Tin manages a local restaurant and hopes her experience can make the bakehouse more sustainable.

"It's always in my mind like I want to help our people. And, the main thing is, even like expatriates, people from outside, want to help our people. So, I want to try as much as I can to help them make it happen," she said.

Bucher said they select women who are unable to earn a living for their families and, after training, hope to place them in Burma's growing hospitality industry or as domestic workers.

Baking and rising

Their fundraising has been so successful they plan to move the Bakehouse from its temporary location to its own shopfront by the end of March.

"We know business and we know food and we know women. And so we're trying to help some of the most disadvantaged women here from their 20s to 40s that kind of missed those opportunities to develop life skills and job skills and need a chance to not only support their families, but to participate in the economy. You know, that's growing," said Bucher.

For now, the Yangon Bakehouse sells its goods through catered and community events where they receive strong support.

This year's fun fair at the International School of Myanmar saw all entrance fees donated to the bakehouse.

Though the goal is to help them find jobs, Bucher said they hope some of the women will stay on to train the next group of apprentices.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs