Independence through baking!
In London, the Luminary bakery helps underprivileged women to empower themselves.
Alice Williams created this social enterprise in 2014. Since then, thanks to donations and partners, she has been teaching women to bake and realize their full potential.
Luminary, therefore, targets vulnerable women who have difficulty finding employment. Among them, 96% have suffered gender-based violence, 79% have been homeless, 34% have been involved in criminal activities, and 15% are recovering from care. But 74% of them have experienced at least three forms of disadvantage.
A complete training
Luminary, therefore, offers them a 12-month training course to teach them baking and pastry making. They also develop skills that are transferable to the world of work, for example by building relationships of trust and creating a network. At the same time, the social enterprise sets up a support program, through individual interviews, group workshops, and mentoring. At the end of their training, the women gain work experience in the bakery. Also, in February 2020, the participants can follow specialized trauma therapy. And the pandemic hasn’t slowed down their activity! They have online courses and continuous help by phone and e-mail. They have vouchers to buy the ingredients to make the recipes, and internet access is financed for those who have connection problems.
A new learning experience will even see the light of day! In 2021, Luminary will train future baristas and coffee staff!
The bakery: a tool for emancipation
By this means, these disadvantaged women are building a secure future for themselves. Since 2014, 90 individuals have been supported, and 53 in 2020! More than just helping the participants, the program indirectly benefits their children, who number 52. Families improve, as they gain confidence, skills, and can provide for their needs. Because 70% of the participants have obtained employment within 24 months of their training, and 13 businesses have been created by the graduates! In this way, they are building their independence and coming out of marginalization. In this regard, the social institution wishes to put an end to the cycle of poverty and violence against women. Its fight is gaining visibility with the publication of its first cookbook “Rising Hope”, in which the bakers share their recipes and their experiences. But also thanks to Meghan Markle who opened the new training center!
Luminary matching more than useful in the current context. The pandemic has intensified vulnerabilities and violence against women. While many of them are accumulating social and economic disadvantages. All the more so as one million English women, including 180,000 London women, remain unemployed.
Sources: Positive News; Luminary
Photo Crédits : Life Of Pix/Pexels : Katerina Holmes/Pexels
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