Yvonne & The TWB Community
With astute business acumen, unswerving kindness, and forward-thinking visions, TWB Bakery Operations Manager, Yvonne Mukamutara, has been leading the Remera Bakery (Kigali) for over a year.
I had the opportunity to spend extensive time with Yvonne in January and February of this year, and in doing so, could see her strong ability to manage operations at the Remera Bakery, especially with day-to-day workflows, finances, and production.
Shortly after her 1-year anniversary, Yvonne and I decided that we wanted to collaborate and write a blog together. We felt our voice could be strongest when piecing together TWB across oceans, cultures, and insights.
So, we are writing together on this blog to show that working together can look a multitude of varying, powerful ways. Our blog is simple: understanding how TWB acts as an incubator for change. In addition to our own ideas, we also wanted to speak with the TWB women in Kigali, to our trainers, and to our senior staff, specifically to understand how they have changed over the year.
So, here are our voices, put together to show how TWB is this “incubator for change” transforming lives at all levels.
We will share the voices of our organization with a two-part series - highlighting the voices of our staff and from the women in our bakeries. This week, we've collected insights and reflections from our TWB team.
Enjoy! #breadpower #team #togetherwerise
Reflections from TWB Staff
“It is amazing to reflect on the last three years: TWB has literally gone from a nascent idea to a robust reality. That reality has been shaped and carried out by a dedicated, compassionate, unparalleled group of people. I’ve learned a lot about working with people building TWB - how to engage, learn from, support and ultimately empower people. This is the essence of TWB, right? I am still learning, of course, and I’m challenged (and fail) daily. But at our core, TWB is people-centric and people-powered.
TWB has also taught me how to rebound. So much can and does go wrong, or not according to plan, or not as well as it should. So many times people turn you away or leave. Progress can be slow and hard-won. But it’s still progress. And when you fail, you’re fail forward. So when you stand up, you’re a step closer to where you want to be. Thus, you keep going, listening, modifying and pivoting, but you go.”
“TWB is constantly stretching and challenging me-- every day I am pushed to look at things from unique angles, to incorporate a diversity of viewpoints rather than relying solely on my own ideas, and to exercise a level of flexibility and fluidity unparalleled in my previous jobs. Top takeaway from 2016: Be quick on the pivot.”
“In TWB I have learnt a lot, not just how to bake breads and cakes, but more about administration, working in a team, finance, and I believe there still much more to learn, which will help me to make my contribution as TWB grows. I am very excited to be part of the TWB Rwanda. And I am hoping to keep learning a lot about our great work.”
"Over the last year and a half, TWB has become a family - working side by side with inspiring, passionate colleagues has reminded me that together we can make a difference. While some days our gains are small, I always remind myself that the little things in life are often the most impactful. Working in Rwanda has challenged me to be creative in finding solutions to all problems, forced me to work outside my own cultural norms, and live life through the eyes of others. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with TWB and grateful for the support from my colleagues, who believe in my abilities to positively contribute to our model."
"My TWB role over the last one and a half years has helped me gain more confidence particularly in classroom set up while conducting training sessions. As a startup business company, I learned a lot about what it takes to start and operate a business in Rwanda. Making new friends is always my top goal, so I have made a lot of friends from TWB's trained graduates, interns and partners."
“I have always been passionate about empowering, supporting, and advocating for women, but have sometimes felt insufficient, ineffective, or unqualified. I carry insecurities, as we all do, and TWB has allowed me to identify, work through, and then shatter them. Through our work, and my job, I believe in what we do, and my role within it. I have learned in the past year that it takes all of us to accomplish meaningful change. I too, like the women we work with and for, have a voice and I can let it be heard.”
“My work with TWB has taught me on how to have proper nutrition every day. Additionally, TWB gave me an opportunity to meet with many more rural women in Rwanda and I have seen that there is so much I can do to help them improve their lives. TWB has reminded me of how important women’s empowerment is for me.”