on the W.I. meeting held on Wednesday 13th, 2012.
The Ifikara Bakery Project and The Free Bread Funds Tanzania
and her husband, Swiss-born Eugene Schellenberg visited their
doctor son and his wife, who lived in a town called Ifakara,
about 240 miles from Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania, they found that
there was severe malnutrition of the population, particularly
among the children when the staple crop of maize failed in periods
of extended drought.
were there they met the Sisters of St. Francis Convent who were
trying desperately to find a source of food that could sustain
the population all the year around, and not be affected by the
weather. They had come up with the idea of building a bakery,
as bread was unobtainable in the area, and it is accepted that
wheat flour contains more nutrients than any other single food.
who had spent his working life in the food machinery industry,
and Margaret, who was a dietician, decided that this was something
they could do to help the people of Ifakara, whom they had come
to like and admire.
They decided to try and raise the funds (£30,000- for
the equipment alone) to build a bakery. By giving talks to many
groups and trusts funds in this country, the money was found,
and one day a container load of bread baking equipment arrived
in Ifakara, and was quickly installed.
Soon the bakery was producing hundreds of loaves a day, at minimum
cost, with no shortage of customers. Free bread was distributed
to the malnourished children in the hospital, whose health improved
After 10 years, the running of the bakery was handed over to
the Sisters of the convent, who trained apprentices, and it
now produces 400 to 900 loaves daily, and is entirely self sufficient.
and Margaret then set up a charity called Free Bread Funds
to supply bread to families that cannot afford to buy it themselves.
Free bread is delivered to the hospital, orphanage, Leprosy
Centre, and many schools.
The annual cost of this project is £25,000, and is raised
by Eugene and Margaret by giving talks, and with donations.
Bread is the Staff of Life has been dramatically
demonstrated in this inspiring story.