“Bakers without Borders” is a non-competitive educational game for all ages and different cultural settings, uniting people from all walks of life due to the unique power of bread as a universal symbol of sharing. With three sub-games, it can be used as a social business model and a guide for therapy and transformative life-long education. This innovative product has been developed by Dr. Nadezhda Savova-Grigorova the Founder of the Bread Houses Network.
Visit the game’s website: http://thegame.bakerswithoutborders.net for more information and order your copy today. Percentage of all proceeds from the sales of the game are donated to the Bread Houses Network (www.breadhousesnetwork.org) to support its social programs for free bread therapy sessions with people with disabilities and traumas in Bulgaria and other countries.
In the first half of November, the Sofia Bread House held the first of a series of bread-making events that mixed children from the local community with refugee children from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The event was co-organized by the Sofia Bread House and the Council of Refugee Women in Bulgaria and was funded by the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. The motto of the series of events is “We are all made from the same dough” and their goal is to bring the mixed groups of children together to make friendships and learn to understand those who are different. The events will continue between November 2017 and January 2018. Below are photos from the first event.
We are launching a series of children’s books written and illustrated by our founder and president, Dr. Nadezhda Savova-Grigorova, cultural anthropologist (Princeton University) and “Traveler with a Mission of the Year 2012” of the global National Geographic. The books are separate from the game Bakers without Borders, but related to it. They go under the general title of “The Adventures of NadEzhko, the hedgehog Baker without Borders”. You can learn more about the books and purchase them on the website of the Bakers without Borders game: http://thegame.bakerswithoutborders.net/books/.
In October, the annual conference of Hands On! International (http://www.hands-on-international.net/), the international association of children museums, held its conference in the Czech Republic. The title of the conference was “The Future in Children’s Hands – Informal Education as an Instrument for Social Change.” During the conference we had the opportunity and pleasure to present the game “Bakers Without Borders.” Our most faithful and supportive crumbassador Yana Doncheva, made bread with 35 participants from all over the world on the topic of tolerance. The bread workshop that she led was part of the module presenting good practices for social inclusion and engagement.
Between 19 and 22 October the city of Opole hosted the first International Game Pedagogy Festival in Poland, organized by the Polish Association of Pedagogues and Animators KLANZA . The colorful and cheerful event gathered teachers, trainers, facilitators and animators for whom plays and creative activities are the best method for achieving intellectual and emotional development of various age groups.
Together with the participants from Poland, Germany, Holland and Austria was Sandra from the Sofia Bread House team. The Bread Houses Network board game “Build a Bread House” was played in three languages – Polish, English and German! Despite the language barriers and the cultural differences the players achieved a consensus and a common idea for a social enterprise. Many others took the challenge to participate in the Theatre of Crumbs. At the flour canvas they presented their visions about game pedagogy and shared what they see as the salt and the sugar in this approach.
Various workshops and creative activities took place during the festival – related to circus skills, playing with metaphor cards, talent discovery or using theatre for anti-discrimination education. The participants shared their good practices in awakening creativity, discovering new horizons and activating the brain and the body.
A big thank you to the organizers for the great experience and for the chance to share our methods with so many people interested in our work!
The first trainings (on September, 29-30 and October, 6-7) in the Bread in the Dark method started on September, 29-30 and October, 6-7. The trainings were part of the “Bread in the Dark – We Knead to Mix” project, funded by Vivacom Regional Grant (http://vivacomfund.bg/#home). Fifteen people with sight impairments participated in the training. Together with the Sofia Bread House team, they went through the steps of the Theatre of Crumbs method and discovered the variety of metaphors associated with the ingredients of bread.
Fifteen volunteers joined the events as partners to the participants in the training. They took the challenge to knead bread in total darkness and counted on their other senses and people standing next to them to use the space and express their thoughts through bread figures. Dressed in special aprons with a braille signature “we knead to mix,” the participants discussed the topics of trust and freedom.
These two trainings laid the foundation for Sofia Bread House bread-making activities in complete darkness. They will continue as special events as well as a paid service.
On September 29, Sandra from the Sofia Bread House team took part in the Academy of Cultural Management 2017, where she presented the work of the Bread Houses Network from the point of view of innovation in the social and cultural field. The Academy was organized by the Goethe-Institut Bulgaria, the Sofia Development Association and the City of Sofia. The main goal of the event was to build capacity and increase the competences of cultural managers in Soﬁa and the region. The event was attended by representatives of municipal and national institutions, as well as independent organizations from the cultural and educational spheres. Sandra also moderated a discussion on “Social innovations” – a possibility for idea exchange between cultural managers with rich experience and many implemented projects, as well as beginners in the field.
Adam Majewski who is one of the latest Crumbassadors to join our Bakers without Borders community just started a great campaign which aims at raising funds to organize community building baking programs in Twin Cities, Minnesota. The program will “create a beacon of hope, help develop future leaders in social change and improvement, and ensure those most in need are receiving the basic food needs for themselves and their families”.
Adam, who is an owner and Baker of the Majestic Chef Bakery and Pastry Baker at the Wedge Co-op, intends to start three programs for social change in the Twin Cities. In the first one, he’s going to use the Theater of Crumbs method, developed by Dr. Nadezhda Savova-Grigorova, in order to organize puppet shows in which the attendees will teach each other about diversity within the community and will acknowledge the variety of their own opinions. The second program, called Let Them Eat Cake! is an initiative to support those in need with healthy food through picnics, meal events and meal deliveries. The third part of Adam’s campaign is Bakers On The Run! Adam will create a running team which will act as both a fundraising platform for events and activities. Moreover, the team will provide mentorship for future generations of food service professionals.
Monitoring and evaluation, organisational development and leadership were the focus of the second capacity building workshop for ten recipients of the 2016 Intercultural Innovation Award. Hosted by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the BMW Group, the workshop took place in Gurgaon, India from 12 February to 16 February 2017.
Participants of the workshop came from Brazil, Bulgaria, France, Germany, India, Israel, Kenya, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The training sessions were designed with the aim of building their long-term impact and ongoing sustainbility so that their initiatives could be expanded and replicated in other contexts.
The first part of the event focused on leadership, organisational development and sustainbility, taught by experiential group learning, case studies and simulations. The participants were then taken through the steps to develop a monitoring plan, and how results from monitoring and evaluation could be used in making management decisions and for communications. A highlight of the workshop was seeing the work of current awardees, Routes 2 Roots and Safecity.
The Bread Houses Network was represented by the project coordinator Zdrava Vodenicharova. The awarded project “Bakers without Borders – Game and Network with community bread-making events as tools for intercultural dialogue and community cohesion, across more than 20 countries on 5 continents.
The training in Gurgaon is part of the one-year support programme provided to recipients of the Intercultural Innovation Award. The first capacity building workshop took place in Munich, Germany at BMW Group Headquarters during June 2016 and focused on the areas of strategic communication and effective planning.
In September 2016, a team of experts in cultural policies for sustainable development from the global AGENDA 21 for Culture team visited the first Bread House in the world, in the town of Gabrovo, Bulgaria. The expert group included the current AGENDA 21 President, Catherine Cullen, and a few other international experts, among which Mr. Jordi Balta from Barcelona who had been cooperating with our network ever since its creation. At the Gabrovo Bread House, the diverse participants engaged in our Theater of Crumbs method and were thrilled by the way it unleashes creativity and helps bond people. Catherine Cullen also took with her our educational game “Bakers Without Borders” and shared how at international conferences she had already been presenting, and will continue in the future to present, the Bread Houses Network know-how as a good practice.
The city of Gabrovo has been selected together with other cities from around the world as pilot cities striving to promote cultural policies for sustainable local development. The Bread Houses Network is thus plannig cooperation projects with organizations in some of the AGENDA 21 pilot cities in Latin America, Europe, and elsewhere in this exciting field, where creativity becomes catalyst for social transformation.