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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid