Aimée baking at home

She became a bakery owner thanks to the World Vision support

By Tatiana Ballay, Communications Officer

Seya, 42, is passionate about baking. Her childhood dream was to create her own bakery.

Aimée is a widow with seven children. She lives with her family in Mutshatsha, a town of more than 19,000 inhabitants in the Lualaba province in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Aimée was one of the women who worked in the informal sector in her town. She was a retail bread seller. On a good day she could earn 5000 FC (2.5$).

She made long travel to get her goods to consumers scattered throughout her community.

With a makeshift oven, she produced bread in her fence. She learned everything from her mother and grandmother. Although she had the knowledge required to be a baker, Aimée did not have the material means to open a large bakery and create her own brand of bread to satisfy her customers in quantity and quality.

"Selling bread was not what I expected, I produced small quantities, sometimes once or twice a week for one or two trays and I didn't sell enough" says Aimée.

Although she was passionate about her work, it did not allow her to support her children and family.

"Before we didn't eat breakfast. We ate once at noon. And rarely in the evening as well," explains Paul, 10, Aimée's youngest son. 

Faced with the different difficulties and needs of her family, the burden was heavy for this woman who was passionate about having her own bakery.

A member of the Bread Makers Association (BMA), a World Vision community partner association, received a World Vision grant in 2022 to support entrepreneurship in its community engagement programme, and Aimée was selected as one of the beneficiaries of the association's project.

"Life was really difficult for my family, now I am a baker. World Vision gave me a donation of 10 bags of wheat flour and I opened a local bakery," explains Aimée, adding: "Since then, I have seen my business grow. Now I have a capital of 30 bags of wheat flour and my production has tripled, I produce 10 trays of bread every day. My income has also increased, I can earn 20,000FC ($10) per day’’.

Thanks to her bakery, Aimée can now respond to the needs of her 7 children, offer them three meals a day for better health and pay their school fees without delay.

"Before, I was always anxious because I wasn't sure if I would finish the school year because of the lack of school fees.  The supervisor would pull me out of class every month because my fees were not paid. And this year I was not taken out of class," says Paul, 10.

Aimée wants her children to get a good education, especially her three daughters. She knows how high the levels of discrimination against women remain in her community.

Her status as a woman baker in Mutshatsha township has helped change the way people view the role of a woman in the community.

To help her community, which is very proud of its expansion, Aimée teaches baking classes to women who want to work in the industry and today her bakery is the busiest in Mutshatsha.

"There is no longer a shortage of bread in Mutshatsha township, we produce without interruption of stock", says Aimée.

"My life has completely changed, my children go to school and eat enough. Thank you so much to World Vision", she concludes.

Aimée's Bakery supplies bread to thousands of families in Mutshatsha city, and for over a year now, hundreds of families have seen their lives change thanks to World Vision's community engagement project in Mutshatsha city, benefiting the most vulnerable, especially children.

Through its programme for the well-being of children, their families and the community, World Vision contributes to the well-being of children by directly supporting families and communities. It is based on approaches that encourage community ownership of activities to support their most vulnerable members and ensure programme sustainability.

By supporting entrepreneurship projects, World Vision has managed to impact the lives of 10 households, benefiting 32 children, including sponsored 9 girls and 2 boys.

The Mutshatsha programme was launched in 2021 and focuses on community engagement, health and nutrition and food security.