Grassroots Consulting in Cape Town

11 06 2011

Social Entrepreneur Corps interns began consulting with locally run Baphumelele Bakery and Baphumelele Orphanage and the nonprofit organization CTC10/Amandla EduFootball in the Khayelitsha Township their first week in South Africa.   Throughout their first two weeks in South Africa Social Entrepreneur Corps interns conducted a needs analysis with the Baphumelele Bakery, which is struggling with low sales and loss in revenue.  Interns additionally worked hand in hand with twenty-five Youth Leaders at the CTC10 Field interviewing them about their educational and career goals.  Upon analysis of interviews topics such a resume creation, interview skills, financial aid opportunities, and study abroad and internship opportunities stood out as valuable information for Youth Leaders.  Accordingly Social Entrepreneur Corps interns conducted four workshops with twenty-five Youth Leaders and left them with an informational packet of resources and further information on careers, interview skills, resume basics, and more.

Just passing through Khayelitsha, the largest township in Cape Town, can be an overwhelming experience with thousands of crammed tin shack homes, the smell of braai (South African barbeque) cooking on the street, and children playing in water from communal taps along crowded streets.  Social Entrepreneur Corps interns Melissa Sandoval and Natasia Fable reflect on their consulting experiences in Khayelitsha using the five senses.

Sight: Seeing the wealth of Cape Town and then seeing the overcrowded, poverty-stricken township of Khayelitsha was definitely as mind-blowing as it has been described to us. I could not believe that people actually lived in those shacks. Those worn down poorly built shacks. It made my heart hurt. But to speak with the members of the Baphumelele Orphanage and Bakery and then the Youth Leaders of CTC10, they were all so hopeful, positive, and full of life. I loved the rich city of Cape Town with its fancy cars, condos and amazing mall, but I felt like Khayelitsha was where I wanted to be. There were so many friendly faces and everyone was so welcoming and grateful for our presence and help.

Smell: When I think of Khayelitsha, I recall the inciting, delicious smell of the Baphumelele Bakery with its fresh baked bread. I remember the smell of the spicy food from the homes.  The air was fresh, clean, and clear.

Sounds: The sounds of children playing happily in the street filled the air along with adult voices calling to one another.

Taste: The freshly baked whole wheat bread from the Baphumelele Bakery was warm, fresh, delicious, and healthy.

Touch: The roads were paved for the most part, but there were a lot of uneven dirt roads. The walls of buildings were lined with electric barbed wire or broken glass to prevent trespassing and theft.

            This is Khayelitsha: Currently over 1.5 million people

·       Khayelitsha is one of many townships in Cape Town, South Africa.  Though it is overpopulated, there is still an amazing sense of community, and positive interactions.  Flooded with children playing and dancing in the streets, this township has no shortage of happiness and is home to the Baphumelele Bakery and Baphumelele Orphanage and a soccer field known as Chris Campbell Memorial Field (CTC10).

Let’s Bake it up- Baphumelele Bakery
: Offering an alternative for healthier eating

·       It is certainly clear that there is a lot of life baked into this small region.  As consultants for SE Corps, the bakery is one business that has certainly attracted our attention.  This bakery supports healthy eating practices by offering whole wheat bread as an alterative to white bread.

·       Its mission: to promote healthy eating among those in the community by offering low cost loafs of bread for 5 rands, cheaper than any other seller.

·       Guided on a tour by the wonderful and ambitious Thulani, we gained insight into the current successes and areas of improvement in the infrastructure of the bakery.




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