Baking Bread for Health and Social Development

Between April and December 2018, the Sofia Bread House in cooperation with the Health and Social Development Foundation (HESED) is organizing 10 educational bread makings for children between 4 and 8 years old from the Sofia district “Fakulteta” with a predominant population of Roma origin. Approximately 20 children will be involved in the project. The meetings will take place at the HESED organization’s Health and Social Center for Development of the Roma Community – located in the “Faculteta” district as well as in the Sofia Bread House.

The meetings are based on the innovative methods of the Bread Houses Network: Theater of Crumbs, Kitchen Music and Fun Culinary. They engage children with culinary and creative activities and are devoted to various educational topics related to the world around us, such as seasons, important holidays, family, friendships, but also future professions, ecology and healthy eating. The themes are presented in an attractive way in order to provoke the imagination and creativity of the participants, but also to improve their communication skills.

Period of implementation: April – December 2018

Financing institution:  International Women’s Club in Sofia

Like at home – we make bread, we share, we play

In March 2018 the project “Psychosocial activities with women and children, refugees and asylum-seekers housed in the regional reception centers of the State Agency for Refugees in Sofia” was launched. It’s implemented by the Council of Refugee Women in Bulgaria in partnership with the Bread Houses Network. “Like at home – we make bread, we share, we play” is the working title of the initiative. It consists in creative culinary activities with women and children from the regional reception centers. The project includes 12 group activities which will be held in the period March-July 2018. The events are based on the Bread Houses Network’s method “Theater of Crumbs” and are located in the Sofia Bread House.

Six of the events are intended for women from Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan. During the events, the participants are involved in culinary activities that are typical for their culture. At the same time they are given the space to spend time and to share experiences outside of their usual every day environment at the regional reception centers. Simultaneously with the activities for women, educational and creative activities, led by an animator are held for their children.

The target group of the other 6 events are refugee and asylum seekers children. They take part in a serie of educational sessions which improve their social adaptation, develop their social skills and their ability to speak Bulgarian. While the children are engaged in making bread and other culinary products, their mothers participate in information meetings. They receive information about opportunities for social support and have the chance to discuss specific cases related to the living conditions in the regional reception centers.

Period of implementation: March – July 2018

Financing organisations: International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Fund for Asylum, Migration and Integration of the European Commission.

We are all made from the same dough

In November 2017 the project titled We are all made from the same dough started. It is implemented by the Sofia Bread House together with the Council of Refugee Women Association in Bulgaria. As part of the project, children between 7 and 11 years of age from the refugee (Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq) and the local communities participate in a series of educational activities. While the children make bread and friendships with their peers, their parents have the chance to get to know each other.

The goal of the project is that the participating children learn to accept people from different countries and cultures, as well as to develop their social skills and interest towards the world around them. Moreover, the events aim at overcoming prejudice and stereotypes through direct contact and cooperation.

Every bread-making event is based on the Bread Houses Network method the Theatre of Crumbs and has a concrete theme related to the surrounding world – the changes of nature during autumn, family, holidays and dishes of different cultures, etc. During the workshops participants draw in flour and create bread figures, but most importantly, they share stories and experiences, as well as specific differences of their countries.  For the preparation of the bread-making, a picture dictionary in three languages (Bulgarian, Arabic and English) is used. The tool is called The world around us and is a product of the Association for Pedagogical and Social Assistance for Children /APSAC/ FICE-Bulgaria.

The events are 2 hours long and are being held with the support of a Bulgarian-Arabic translator. Seven children from the refugee community and 7 from the local community participate in every event. Some of the participants participate in all the events and some are taking part only in a few of the events.

Period of implementation: November 2017 – January 2018.

Financing organisation: United Nations High Commission for Refugees


B(re)aking Bread and Borders 

The purpose of the project is to lead to overcoming stereotypes between the main minority groups in Bulgaria. It aims to ensure a cozy and safe space where points of unity will be created and intercultural cooperation will be established. The project will address the challenge of shortening the “social distances” between young representatives of 4 ethnic traditional minorities groups in Bulgaria – Turkish, Roma, Armenian and Jewish, as well as new minority groups from different Arabic countries and Bulgarian young people.

The project will consist of workshops with the representatives of 5 ethnic minorities and native Bulgarians aged 16 to 26 years. The Bulgarian participants will be selected from 2 schools in Sofia and youth organizations. 5 mixed groups will take part  workshops and 15 community bread making workshops will be carried out in total. The workshops activities will be based on the Bread Houses Network community bread-making methods which will be adapted for social integration of minorities.

Period of implementation: November 2017 – October 2018

Financing organisation: Niwano Peace Foundation

Bread IN the Dark – We Knead to Mix!

The purpose of the project is social inclusion and personal transformation of visually impaired people through the Bread IN the Dark method for community cohesion and bread making with sighted people. Bread in the Dark events is to connect sight-impaired facilitators with sighted people in 100% darkened environment where the mixed group engages in bread-making as a catalyst for dialogue on various existential questions, experienced tangibly through the processes of kneading bread as metaphors for life.

The project includes training and group work with visually impaired and sighted people, mixed Bread IN the Dark bread making events, darkening of the Sofia Bread House to ensure 100 % darkened environment.

Period of implementation: August 2017 – January 2018

Financing organisation: Vivacom Regional Grant 

Strengthening the Bread Houses Network in Bulgaria

The goal of the project is to strengthen the participation of marginalized groups and individuals in their communities throughout Bulgaria. To this end, the International Council for Cultural Centers will expand and strengthen its network of bread houses in Bulgaria, increase the capacity of the local bread house coordinators to implement projects and engage marginalized groups, and explore the possibilities of turning bread houses into successful social enterprises.

Period of implementation: 2012 – June 2018

Financing organisation: Charles Stewart Mott Foundation 


The goals of the project are to include visually-impaired and sighted people in creating new a new kind of “visual art” – tactile art –experienced through touch and senses other than vision, inspiring the social integration of blind people. The Bread Houses’ community baking methods were a central part of the project, and in cooperation with the Spanish National Association of the Blind in Barcelona, we organized innovative workshops with mixed groups, whose result is our on-going program Bread in the Dark, which we now expand as social enterprise network led by blind people.

Period of implementation: 2011 – 2012

Financing organisation: European Cultural Foundation

Bread for Social Change

The project addressed the permanent social exclusion and marginalization of vulnerable groups in society through bread kneading. 20 community bread kneading events were held under the project with the participation of people with disabilities, children and the Roma in the city of Plovdiv. The joint events helped the participants mingle, overcome and accept the cultural and religious differences between them. The sessions provided information about the origin of bread, bread types, traditional decoration and preparation. The main activities were community kneading and the Bread Crumble Theatre and they can be used for similar groups. The two activities boosted the self-assessment and individual potential of the participants. A guide was published on the activities and their effect. Support Association and the Bulgarian Red Cross were the partners.

Period of implementation: 2014

Financing organisation: Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009 – 2014