In 2011, we were contacted by Braille Without Borders (BWB), a school for the blind based in Tibet. They wanted to set up a bakery. The idea was that a bakery program would help their blind youth learn how to be more independent around the kitchen; for some of them, bakery could even be a long-term career option; last, they would be able to sell the breads and cakes to passing tourists, and so generate extra revenue to run their school.
SYB doesn’t know much about training blind people or running an NGO in Tibet, but we do know about bakery. BWB thus sent one of their young staff, Basang Lamu, to Shanghai to follow our bakery training together with our other students. During that one year, we not only taught her bakery and pastry techniques, but also shared with her our experience concerning kitchen management, teaching, evaluation standards, marketing and commercialisation…
At the end of her stay with us, Basang Lamu was able to go back to Tibet, and get ready to teach bakery to 60 blind youth.
A small team of us accompanied her for the first 10 days of her new adventure. Here is the video of that trip.
Shanghai Young Bakers is now actively looking to replicate this partnership model. By training committed NGO staff in technical and managerial bakery skills, we hope we can empower other marginalised populations (deaf, disabled, autistic, homeless…), throughout all of China.
Contact us if you want to be part of this journey. We are looking for seed funding, qualified staff, and NGO partners.