In Hanoï, the Youth of the Bread & Smiles prepare and sell pastries in a training coffee shop located near their center. Their menu includes baguette, croissant, pain au chocolat and several sweet and salty cakes. The coffee shop as well as the center had to close due to enhanced social distancing implemented in Hanoï.
By the time activity at the Centre was resumed, a major job was waiting for them!
On May 5th, after almost two months being closed, our center in Hanoi was ready to open its door again.
We were really excited to welcome the Youth again in the center but we knew it was gonna be a challenge to find a “new normal” after this exceptional time.
Since late March we had not seen the Youth because they had to come back to their hometown in the North, a six-hours bus ride away from Hanoï.
On the first day of training, we received an order for 140 baguettes from Hai, a local entrepreneur to give to Homeless Hanoi.
Homeless Hanoi is a frontline community campaign helping to feed, clothe, protect, educate and provide first-aid to the poor, homeless and underprivileged throughout Hanoi. They meet every Thursday evening to do some social round-up.
Because of the lockdown it was very difficult for the poor and homeless around Hanoi to access food, sanitation and basic essentials. Many charities providing essential support have been unable to operate efficiently and this took a devastating toll on the poor and homeless. That is why Hai decided to help this community and thought about Bread & Smiles.
In this first week, G. Sua, 19 years old, a manager from Bread & Smile 2, was the first one to be able to come back to Hanoï.
G. Sua being a former head of the production department we informed her about the order and asked her if she felt ready to make bread again. Here is her answer :
“ I was excited because we haven't been working in the center for a long time. But I also felt quite nervous because we needed to make a lot of bread and I thought we would need a long time to make it. Finally we worked together to find out how many recipes it takes to make 140 breads. We calculated the time we needed and decided to prepare 2 recipes together to save time, after 9 recipes we have completed the order. I was really happy and motivated to do so because our products will be received by the homeless.”
140 baguettes is one of the biggest orders we received and it took us two days to finish it. And because the team was not complete, the coaches had to do their part in order to achieve this exceptional order. Isaline Coach of Bread Smile 2 arrived in February and have only seen the Bread & Smiles working for a couple of weeks before the lockdown.
“For this first week, I was glad to be able to work with the Youth again and accept this challenge of making 140 baguettes for the homeless of Hanoi. While making the bread I realized how skilled our Youths are in baking. I was impressed by their technique to knead the dough.”
On Thursday evening, our baguettes were ready to be distributed to the homeless of Hanoi !! Axel, head of the Homeless Hanoi picked them up just before their weekly social round-up.
Mr. Hai’s orders were a really nice challenge and gave the whole team a purpose after several weeks shaken up by social distancing measures. This collaboration was such a success we decided to do it again the week after and bake again 120 baguettes!
Témoignage de Nguyen Kim Hai , owner of a local restaurant :
Having a chance to cooperate with LP4Y- Bread and Smiles during the historical Covid-19 pandemic in Hanoi is an unforgettable memory. Thanks to the team I have spent a lot of time under the 40°C Hanoi crazily hot summer, the oven these days is as hot as a volcano.
Your hardworking and delicious bread helped hundreds of Hanoi’s homeless people prevail Covid-19, contributed to the world's most successful pandemic fighting result of Vietnam and made this world better.
Thank you very much for your cooperation!