Update from my last post.
I'm back in the States and had such an amazing experience in South Africa! I ended up teaching 21 women how to bake muffins, cupcakes, cookies and bread. They loved the baked goods so much and were thrilled to see how the various ingredients came together to form a delicious treat. Enjoying the warm muffins and breads straight from the oven while tossing it from one hand to another to try to cool them as we were eating was such a fun memory. My favorite session was when the women learned how to make cake frosting and pipped their names out. They have never seen a piping bag or a pastry tip, so it was such an exciting thing to learn!
Between the 7 other workshop that were held by the team of professionals I went with, there were over 150 women who took various courses and received certificates of accomplishment. Our "graduation" day was a such a beautiful time for celebration and it was such a proud moment in their lives.
The women I encountered were so eager to learn, hospitable, and joyful in the midst of their circumstances. It was such a humbling experience to work with a non-profit like Zimele to bring skills training to Swayimane. With this exposure to baking, some of the women were interested in getting further training in nearby towns and eventually develop their own small businesses. Hopefully this trip and the continued efforts by Zimele will lead towards the growing empowerment of the women in South Africa and act as a stepping stone towards working their way out of poverty.