A local bakery at our Samar site in the Philippines is supporting mothers, boosting confidence, and giving nearby schools and families access to delicious goodies!
Our Samar site is located on a small island, where businesses, jobs, and goods are limited. Chalice sponsorship allows struggling children to attend school, and eases the financial burden on parents. Parents of sponsored children are also organized into family circles, where they keep track of budgets and plan for the future. Sometimes, they even launch their own small businesses for extra income.
Luz is the president of her family circle, known as “Zone 3”. Two years ago, they received small business start-up funds through our gift catalogue. Maricel, our Samar site director, had the brilliant idea to start a bakery, as there were no other competing bakeries nearby. The group decided to name their new business the “Bethlehem Bake Shop”!
None of the mothers involved had any baking or business experience, but they were determined to make it work. Three members took a bread and pastry making course, and they hired a full time baker to plan and produce their product selection. Our site also provided them with business training to ensure that they properly manage their finances.
Today, the bakery is in full swing, and is very popular within the community. Bread is a staple in the Filipino diet, especially at breakfast time. Since they are the only bakery in the neighborhood, they’re quite busy! Their most popular product is known as “tuna bread,” a soft roll stuffed with tuna salad and onion. The shop is also flooded with cake orders during special occasions, especially Christmas.
Each of the 18 mothers that work at the bakery are so happy to be earning extra income for their families. The best part of the business, the women say, is selling snacks and meals to children at the nearby school. They love knowing that they are helping to ensure that the kids are well fed for class. The women also get the opportunity to help students complete their work placements for college!
We offer our sincere thanks to all of the donors and sponsors who helped improve the lives of these women and their children. All of the support and encouragement they’ve received has instilled them with confidence in their futures!