This blog was written by one of TWB's first and most committed supporters, Kathryn Melton. Kathryn, of Charlotte, North Carolina, is a P.A. (Physician's Assistant) at one of largest physician's group in the Charlotte, NC region. She has been friends for numerous years with TWB Founder & Co-Director, Markey Culver, especially while at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. Inspired by TWB, Kathryn hosted an Inspired Meal late this summer and continues to advocate for our work regularly. #sharetheloaf #bakebreadtogether

I first learned about The Women’s Bakery right around the time it started.

My friend, Markey, had been working in Rwanda with the U.S. Peace Corps and was trying to figure out a way to improve the nutrition of the community she was working with. She also recognized the financial struggles of those around her.

Before Markey moved to Rwanda in the first place, we were both living in St. Louis, Missouri and I remember a coffee date that involved talking deeply about Markey’s hopes and fears for her time abroad in East Africa.

How was she going to help? What was she going to bring to her community?

I don’t think she could have even imagined her life and the fulfillment of anything like TWB before she got there. Life moves us in funny ways.

The Women’s Bakery inspires me.

I truly believe that communities thrive when women are involved and successful. Women work to bring people together and are able to catalyze the communities they live in. In addition to the nutritional support the bakeries provide, there is nothing that can be compared to the empowerment of financial independence. What an amazing need TWB is helping to fulfill!

TWB women are learning skills they can take with them the rest of their lives. They are supporting their families and showing their children that they can succeed, as well. 

That’s real, sustainable change.

I am proud to be even the tiniest piece of this wonderful organization and I will continue to advocate for the lasting empowerment of women in Rwanda - and beyond.