March 2016: Ethiopia / Lalibela: Bakery and Pastry Projects

Ethiopia / Lalibela: Bakery and Pastry Projects 2016

“Bread” in rich countries, might be a substitute meal to feed with other kinds of food stuffs. But in a small town like Lalibela, it is more than just a bread; it is considered to be the second most common food next to ‘Injera’ (the most favorite and very common, thin but a wide round bread made of Teff crops).

Many people in this town especially the Daily Labors, the street kids and mothers, and other low income people which accounts about 35% of the population prefers to eat bread because their economic status doesn’t allow them to eat the injera. So to get this bread, they should go to shops and small tea houses to buy.

But the town has only three Bakery and pastry houses which are distributing breads to the Shops, Tea houses, Cafes and hotels. So these shops and tea houses sells the bread with expensive prices adding profits so that the very low income portion of the society is no more able to buy the breads; It is getting hard for them to eat three time a day being paid 30-35 birr working the whole day.

So looking at this interconnected problems of this poor portion of the society, the PBF decided to implement two “Bakery and Pastry Projects” in the town. One of the bakeries is run by a young boy called Dagim Getnet; a graduated of vocational school in food science. He never had a work after graduation as this is the case for most fresh Ethiopian graduates. But he has a fresh energy and committed to change his big family of 3 sisters, 2 brothers, his mother and father for whom he is responsible to care. And the other bakery and pastry by Moges Wodaje; a person having a few years’ experience in baking and he had been working in different hotels being an employed. These two persons brought their proposal to the PBF in different times with an intention of having their own bakery as they couldn’t change their life after having worked for years as an employed.



The PBF decided to go head for these projects after evaluating the benefits to this poor community other than just only changing lives’ of this two persons. So the PBF opened two bakery houses which increase the town’s bakery to five. These two bakeries provide freshly prepared bakery and pastry products at all times during business operations. Six to Eight moderate batches of bakery and pastry products are prepared during the day in each of the bakeries to assure fresh baked goods are always available. So that, customers can directly visit these bakeries to buy breads other than going to shops and tea houses to get breads with expensive prices.

Though, the number of bakery available in the town is not sufficient to provide enough bakery products (especially bread), PBF’s two bakery houses are now playing a great role in providing a reasonable amount of breads especially for the very poor portion of the community who are not able to afford any other kind of food stuff. There are two other full-time employed workers in each of the bakeries to mix and bake the bread so that the business is creating jobs for others too. And in particular, this business is greatly changing the owners’ life as one of the bakery owners; Dagim Getenet has recently opened a souvenirs shop with the profits he gets from the bakery business.