Photo Credit: Divine Makuma

The ‘Heart 4 Africa’ bakery located at Sacred Heart College officially opened this month and currently employs ten women who bake bread and pizza.


Johannesburg, South Africa (30 March 2023) – As part of a local community upliftment initiative, a new bakery facility was officially launched on the grounds of Sacred Heart College, Observatory on the 1st of March, 2023. Ten women have been empowered to run the facility, which has been named ‘Heart 4 Africa’ bakery and which specifically employs migrant residents who otherwise would have no work or opportunity for an income.

The launch was attended by members of the bakery organising committee. This included authorities from different community initiatives, namely The Angel Network, the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD), Rights 2 Live Africa and Sacred Heart College.

Jean Bwasa, the founder of Rights 2 Live Africa, said that having come from the Congo, he and his family had personally experienced much hardship and discrimination in South Africa.

“When Covid-19 came, things became exceptionally tough for the local Congolese community,” he said, “While the government was looking after its own citizens with food parcels, the migrant community received nothing – with many reaching a point of desperation”.

According to Bwasa, there are probably more than 1 million Congolese residents living in South Africa at present.

Bwasa subsequently approached Tali Nates from the South African Holocaust and Genocide Centre, with whom he had been in collaboration. She referred him to Glynne Wolman, founder of the Angel Network, and the organisation, together with the SAJBD, offered to assist.

“We put together 250 food parcels for the refugee community. We have since continued to work together and today’s launch is the result of ongoing teamwork” he said.

Bwasa commented on how personally significant this project was to him.

“My wife, Nicole, and I met in a bakery so today is a special day for us; it reminds us of our roots and our hearts” he said.

SAJBD communications manager Charisse Zeifert said her organisation was “more than thrilled” to be a part of an initiative which uplifts vulnerable residents.

“The facility doesn’t just look beautiful now; it smells beautiful. There is nothing more beautiful than the smell of warm, freshly baked bread” she remarked.

But as they say, the proof is in the pudding. Launch attendants didn’t just get to see the bakery and smell the bread, but to have their fill and according to Sacred Heart College head Heather Blanckensee, it is anticipated the community will soon be able to order from the bakery.

“We are finalising official accreditation, but we hope the bakery will soon become fully operational as a school and community service to generate life-sustaining resources and solutions for the local migrant community” Blanckensee said.

She emphasised that the heart of Sacred Hearts was “to give hope, dignity and honour to every person, including refugees”.

Bwasa explained that xenophobia had made headlines so often, but that he had a new word, ‘philophobia’.

“’Philo’ means love, and ‘phobia’, fear,” he explained. “As a people, it’s not just xenophobia and discrimination which grips our hearts. We have developed philophobia – a fear of love – but perfect love casts out fear.”

The team believes the hope of our nation rests in communities remembering their hearts.

Source: Supplied
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Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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