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Bakery rising to the challenge
Author:餐饮展Source:网络Visits:672时间:2021-03-16

Bakery rising to the challenge

Wang Siming is a 25-year-old baker's apprentice who suffers from learning disabilities.

He wakes early every day to take a bus to work. He meets his co-workers at around 8:30 am to start preparing ingredients for the day ahead.

The Maizi Bakery-the word Maizi means "wheat" in Chinese-where he works was created by Guangzhou Huiling Community Service for People with Intellectual Disability, in Guangdong province, as a social enterprise which aims to provide career opportunities to people with disabilities similar to Wang's.

Working at Maizi, he says, is the first step in achieving his dream of becoming a full-time baker, but also in becoming independent and self-sufficient.

The bakery has seven apprentices and employs two full-time social workers as teachers, one of whom is Zhang Yan, who also manages work schedules.

Zhang says the baking duties, including preparing ingredients, mixing and packaging, are allocated according to the apprentices' interests.

"If they are allocated work they are not interested in, they can become negative, like anyone in any job," said Zhang. "We certainly don't want anyone to give up."

"My job is to bake sweet bread with red beans," said Wang excitedly, explaining it has become his specialty. "I need to knead the dough really hard."

Zhang's full-time colleague is social worker Li Zhuang, who is satisfied with the progress the apprentices have made over the past six months.

Li said the biggest problem to start with was the apprentices used to forget (maybe conveniently) to clean the equipment and baking tins-but now every step in the process has become routine for them, and they are all doing well.

Maizi is the third such bakery set up to help people with learning disabilities. There are also the Aide Bakery in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province, and the Boske Bakery in Taiwan, both of which are also run as social welfare companies.

Maizi was set up using many of the same systems and procedures used in the Boske. The endowment which has financially supported it is only guaranteed for a year, so Zhang says he is working flat out to hit the 800 loaves of bread it needs to sell daily, just to break even.

So far production has reached 100, and so the plan now is to take on more staff.