Breaking bread is a universal custom that unites us all.
The trainees at The Bread & Butter Project come from varied backgrounds, from Sierra Leone to Burma, but one thing they have in common is their refugee status. The Sydney-based sourdough bakery is a social enterprise project set up to turn asylum seekers into certified bakers with one hundred percent of the profits going back into the project. Azizul Azizul Kawbir came to Australia from Burma three years ago. He believed that his traineeship at the Bread and Butter Project will transform his future. “I can make money, I can learn skills, if I wasn’t here I would never learn the skill of baking, making bread, no future, nothing. So if I get the certificate, in my future I won’t have to worry because I know how to make bread wherever I go. I will be to get a job straight away in Australia.” The Bread & Butter Project is the brainchild of Paul Allam, one of the founders of Sydney’s Bourke Street Bakery. The idea sprang from a trip to Mae Sot on the Thai- Burma border in 2011. “We were invited there by a group of nuns who had an oven that they didn’t know how to use, they knew I was a baker and they invited us over there to employ the refugee women in the orphanage and to sell the bread into Mae Sot. I came back to Sydney and I thought wouldn’t it be great to do the same thing here” said Allam. As the project reaches its one year anniversary, the first trainees are about to graduate. The founders at The Bread and Butter Project hope that as more people buy their bread, their production needs will increase, they will have to take on more trainee and help to change more lives.