From the hard launch of the Flagship in May, to its ongoing operations now 6 months later, much growth has been achieved.
We are truly the experts in the nitty gritty. We are the pilots who never lack the investment or zeal to see the manufacturing of this beast through. We bust through barriers on a daily basis as we seek to build around the details that unfold. We adapt, innovate, and lead together
This is the place where they feel comfortable, happy and proud to work in such amazing place, and this leads to their desire to keep working hard, to learn, and to pursue more opportunities for sales, product development, and more!
In addition to baking skillsets, The Women’s Bakery teaches women their rights, how to advocate for them, where to go for help, and ultimately, how to claim their rights.
TWB, in partnership with local welders, has engineered, a cool yet simple to operate wood oven model that is replicated across all remote TWB Bakeries.
I couldn’t even begin to imagine that this would be what our flagship was like. We have our offices next to our industrial ovens. We have the production space lined with clean, high-quality tiles. We are running a business and we are kicking ass.
The work of TWB is not easy and its approach is on the road less traveled. However, TWB’s methods are effective and working to create systemic sustainable impact in the lives of its employees and their families.
We believe that small, incremental change is a strong indicator of sustainable change. Our team is proud of all the hard work we have contributed to making a difference in the lives of the women we work with.
Switching from wooden ovens to electric ovens at our Kigali Bakery was a game changer, but as a Rwandan proverb says, “If you don’t remember where you came from, you will never know where you are going.”
We have come from so far, and each small step has set us forward.
In 2018, TWB is focusing on Gicumbi as our next training and bakery launch site. Our preparations are on a good track, including developing the training schedule, partner relationships, and interview process for the participants. We will be launching the training for this group on April 23rd.
The simple, most important lesson I have learned in Rwanda is that our days are filled with barriers, but almost every barrier also has a solution. Every day, multiple times a day, we need to craft solutions to meet the challenges, regulations, and broken systems that we face.
Building something from scratch takes work. It takes grit. It takes passion and endurance. But those are things that the staff at The Women’s Bakery embodies well.
We believe in our mission. We listen. We learn from our mistakes. We remain committed to what we know can work.
“ Then… now we are just getting started,” one of the women said as she reflected on how far TWB has come. Indeed, we are just getting started.
The main purpose of the retreat was to review how 2017 went what we want 2018 to look like. This was achieved through presentations on organizational culture, alignment, project reports, and updates on marketing plans, curriculum updates, and model adaptations.
In Rwanda, we also say, "in every seed, there is hope to grow a forest." I am grateful to be working with TWB and to grow this vision and work - together.
I stood back and realized that this was the best thing that could happen – the women were now better at baking than I was. The women were teaching me how to make bread! If this isn’t a sign of success, I don’t know what is. And it is a testament to both the women and our incredible TWB team.
Like the individual bakeries and trained women, TWB as an organization benefits from collaboration, building and exchanging ideas across countries and models.
Through working at a bakery, our hope is that women can build and invest in social networks to prevent future violence. We have installed my position of Bakery Operations Manager (BOM) to serve as much more to the women – a leader, a counselor, and a mentor – with the hope that women have a safe place to discuss challenges they face in society.