Will you teach us?
It all began with one seemingly simple question and twelve women in a Rwandan village. "Will you teach us?"
Like most rural, economically depressed regions in East Africa, the villagers of Bushoga typically live off of one meal a day comprised of a combination of plantains, potatoes, rice, beans and maybe some tomatoes — simple crops derived from subsistence farming.
In 2012, Peace Corps Volunteer Markey Culver began growing a vegetable garden to supplement her daily meal with a midday salad. Her salads were a novelty in Bushoga, and instantly drew interest from female villagers.
The villagers' curiosity grew into a desire to learn when Culver self-constructed an oven and baked bread from scratch to add to her midday meal. Bread did not exist in Bushoga. The collective imagination of the women had been sparked.
Where there is hope, there is opportunity. When the women of Bushoga asked Culver, “Will you teach us?”—to which the answer was “of course, yes”—these women were sparking another big idea: The Women’s Bakery.