The most beautiful thing about bread (the delicious taste withstanding) is that it belongs to no one. Instead, it belongs to everyone.
Bread (English), brot (German), bröd (Swedish), pan (Spanish), mkate (Swahili), or imigati (Kinyarwanda), is a staple food in nearly every culture, region, and country in the world.
Last week, while in a training session at African Community Center, a woman from Burma described the way that she would make bread at home,
“…we make ours flat, mostly with wheat flour, and with more sugar.”
Other women in the room nodded; some commented on the way they would consume the product. As for me, I spoke about some of the ingredients we use in our bread recipes – the ones that we teach in Rwanda and in Tanzania. The women at ACC wrote vigorously in their notebooks as I explained the importance of yeast and the importance of kneading. Bread isn’t altogether difficult; but it is both a science and an art, and so the process is certainly important.
After introducing the work of The Women’s Bakery to this group of 8 women, they shared their own names and places of origin. Women from Burma, Somalia, Congo, and yes – even Rwanda – gathered for “tea time”, where women at ACC are able to learn something new, or discuss things they are encountering with new life in the United States.
ACC is an organization that helps refugees rebuild lives in Denver. According to the American Immigration Council, 1 in 10 Coloradans is an immigrant, meaning approximately 500,634 individual lives have a history somewhere else. That’s powerful.
At the request of ACC, our Denver team taught one of our personal growth and development lessons, Thinking and Learning Styles. The lesson is typically taught within our programs in Rwanda, but the idea that it can be applicable and relevant stateside is an encouraging notion for our team. Our model is relevant to women – globally – and that is an exciting consideration for our growth as an organization in the future. Indeed, bread (and education and empowerment) is for everyone.