If you think times are tough, visit Uganda. You will instantly become grateful that you live in Australia. I’ve just spent two weeks there with my two good baker mates, Ralph Plarre and Graham Heaven. We set up a bakery and trained four local women to bake bread. It was a big ask, but we achieved it.
When we first saw what we had to work with, we all agreed that we needed a miracle. Well, the good Lord delivered (we were there with a Christian group). The bakery in Uganda is to provide an income to help support two orphanages. We got to spend a bit of time with the orphans; they were really excited that we were there to visit them. The children sang us many songs, some of which we’ve recorded (we’ll put up a couple on YouTube).
These kids have nothing (one had a bottle top!) but they all had big smiles. (If any of you are interested in volunteering in Uganda, we have the contacts. It would be a life-changing experience for anyone.) Here in Australia, I see people with talent, health, intelligence and other advantages complaining about some little annoyance. Before bitching about something, we should count our blessings; most of us are more fortunate than we realise.
These four ladies, all of whom have children, did not get paid for the first two weeks’ work. They each got a loaf of bread. If they were good enough after their trial period, they got employed. I must admit, we were tough with our teaching. Some people think it’s okay to lower standards and bend rules – it’s not. These four ladies had a lot of pride in what they were doing. They worked as a unit rather than as a group of individuals with conflicting agendas. They committed to excellence.
I think we succeeded in creating a caring atmosphere. We simply followed the golden rule of treating others as you would want to be treated yourself. And we’ve shown them how to make bread. Now it’s up to them to sell it, which is going to be a huge job. It’s not easy being in business – never has been, never will be.
We wish them the best of luck!