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Community rises to challenge of refugees with new bakery



A new bakery was launched on 1 March on the grounds of Sacred Heart College, Observatory, as part of a local community upliftment initiative. Named Heart 4 Africa , the bakery employs migrant residents who otherwise would have no work or opportunity to earn an income. Ten women have been empowered to run the facility.

Members of The Angel Network, the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD), Rights 2 Live Africa, and Sacred Heart College, were present at the launch. The bakery is part of teamwork by these organisations to assist the migrant community.

Jean Bwasa, the founder of Rights 2 Live Africa, said that having come from the Congo, he and his family had experienced much hardship in South Africa.

“When the COVID-19 pandemic came, things became exceptionally tough for the migrant community. While the government was looking after its own citizens with food parcels, the migrant community received nothing, with many reaching a point of desperation,” he said.

Bwasa approached Tali Nates of the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre, with whom he had been in collaboration. She referred him to Glynne Wolman, the founder of The Angel Network, and she and her team, together with the SAJBD, offered to assist.

“We put together 250 food parcels for the community, and have continued to work together. Today’s launch is the result of ongoing teamwork,” Bwasa said.

Sacred Heart College head Heather Blanckensee said the school’s mission was to give hope, dignity, and honour to every person, including refugees.

SAJBD Communications Manager Charisse Zeifert said her organisation was “more than thrilled” to be a part of an initiative which uplifts vulnerable residents. “The facility doesn’t just look beautiful now; it smells wonderful. There’s nothing more appetising than the smell of warm, freshly baked bread” she said.

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