The Bakery School ProjectSupport for Abused Teenage Girls in Sri Lanka
The Bakery School Project
The Bakery School Project teaches teenage girls – the victims of violent and sexual abuse in Sri Lanka, who are confined in a ‘home’ until they are 18 years – cooking and baking skills. The project has done very well in its first five years of operation, with more than 90% of graduates finding employment, giving them hope for a new start in life. The project also provides English language tuition and classes on interview preparation and simulation.
RoundTrip has partnered with the Bakery School project and our future objectives, apart from attaining sufficient funding for the project to continue are:
- providing a counselling service
- providing a diversity of employment opportunities beyond baking
- helping the girls reunite with their families (they are often rejected after they have been released from the home)
In May 2018 a long held dream was realised when a special needs stream of students came online. This stream provides an opportunity for teenagers with Down syndrome, and sight and hearing difficulties to also acquire baking skills. We then assist in setting them up with baking equipment at home, so they can produce and sell bakery goods.
RoundTrip’s 2019 Xmas Appeal is raising funds for the school’s running costs and for desperately needed kitchen equipment, which includes:
Running costs: baking ingredients, chef salaries, uniforms, electricity, insurance and transport.
Equipment needed: digital scale, industrial blender, microwave oven, small freezer / refrigerator unit, two small stainless steel top tables, pastry flattener machine.
Earlier in 2019, Sri Lanka was rocked by terrorist attacks. The attacks had a savage impact on the country’s growing tourism market. Tourism has been a large source of funding for the bakery school. As a result of this, RoundTrip is now shouldering much of the financial responsibility for the bakery school.
If you can contribute to our Xmas Appeal, even in a small way, it’s a wonderful way to have a positive impact and give back.
Background of the Students
The girls’ home where our bakery school students come from is in southern Sri Lanka, and has around 70 to 80 occupants between 13 and 17 years of age, at any given time. The girls are mostly the victims of rape, sexual abuse and domestic violence. The girls in the home ‘need protection’ because the cases against their perpetrators (usually family members or someone close to the family) can drag on for years in Sri Lanka’s court system. During this time the girls’ lives are often in danger. After being released at 18 years of ages, many girls end up on the streets, getting involved in prostitution, crime and drugs (during their time at the girls’ home they acquire no skills or training). More background information about previous students and how they came to be placed in the girls’ home is also available.