Sihetekera Bakery is about 55 km West of Rundu, on the C45 road. It was founded in 1992 by 30 women of the Bunya Mission, nearby (see map below). The objective was to reduce poverty, create employment for the women and pay the school fees of their children. In 1997 they received further help from the Africa Development Foundation, through the Ministry of Gender and Equality to buy a new oven, fridge and equipment. The manager of the Bakery is Ms. Hedwig Namutenya Karupu.
There are more women than work to do, so they have a rotation system for sharing the work. The women are divided in groups, and different women work different days. We have seen this work-rotation system in other places, like in the Okanvango Poler’s trust in Botswana.
We have talked about this bakery before in the blog, here: Businesses that don’t work (in Spanish). We visited it twice, and got the impression that the bakery didn’t work very well. The day we came to visit for example, it was closed just because the manager was ill, which seems strange because the other workers could work anyway. From our conversations with a local aid worker we learned that the Bakery could do much better under proper management. There and then we saw something clear: That what people tell you in a short visit can be very different from reality, sometimes they tell you what they think you want to hear. It is normal in this kind of superficial contact, it would take much more time to properly understand their reality. This is one of the main problems of Tourism, responsible or not: in such a short visiting time it is virtually impossible to create real relationships and understand each other in depth.
Anyway, it is well worth a visit to see how the women work and make bread, and better understand their challenges even if it is just a little bit. Talk to them and ask.
Also, if you come to visit the Bakery, make sure you also visit the Bunya Mission on the other side of the road just in front of the bakery, on the river banks. Another very good idea is to visit Rossy Bee Busy pre-school, 15 km West of Rundu also on the C45.
View Namia and Botswana. Baobab Guides in a larger map
Contact: Ms. Hedwig Namutenya Karupu
How to get there:
Sihetekera Bakery is about 55 km West of Rundu, on the C45 road, in front of the Bunya Mission