Almost on the other side of the globe, in the capital of Amman, Jordan, Ibrahim and his wife Alex (from Ukraine) founded the unique JIA bakery/pizza place with Bread Therapy program (http://www.jiahealthyeating.com). Here is how Ibrahim defines himself: “As a newly baker-owner of a healthy eating Bakery, together with my background in sociology (Jordan University) and in Euro-MENA Public social policy development (London School of Economics in the UK), as an analyst and a researcher (Euro-Arab Management School/EAMS in Granada-Spain), I am enthusiastic and excited to cooperate with the Bread Houses Network, to spread Bread Therapy in the Middle East, to document the world of bread and baking in Jordan and MENA region countries from anthropological, sociological, environmental, therapeutically, nutritionally, economically, health and peace wise.”
Friends, meet our newest Bread Therapists, Hayoung Oh from the USA and Ken Amy from the UK, and Ibrahim and his wife Alex from Jordan, who all got trained via our platform www.breadtherapy.net
Hayoung is a recent Master of Public Health graduate from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and current research assistant on moral injury in the Harvard Human Flourishing Program. His research focuses on vulnerable populations such as those experiencing homelessness, substance abuse, and racial/ethnic minorities. He enjoys all things fermentation, especially sourdough. Hayoung believes that food is the key to remembering who/what/why/when we are. After also visiting the first Bread House in Gabrovo, Bulgaria, to get hands-on training in the summer of 2022, Hayoung hopes to utilize Bread Therapy to help vulnerable populations better understand themselves and the world around them.
Meanwhile, the group of Bread Therapists in the UK keeps growing, with Ken Amy. Ken is a passionate ChangeBaker in spirit, wishing to bring crumbs of joy and change to his community by creating a cozy, welcoming place to make everyone feel at home! This is how Ken describes himself and his vision of the “Shirley Home of Bread”:
“I’m a novice bread maker and improbable social entrepreneur, who is seeking to establish a Bread House here in Southampton U.K. to be called ‘Shirley Home of Bread’. I have a passion and vision – in partnership with others, to bring to fruition a flourishing local community that embodies equality, diversity, and inclusion. I perceive that bread as a cultural artifact is capable of reshaping our imaginations, and can positively transform the boundaries of possibility and impossibility for the most disadvantaged and marginalized in our self-seeking society! I’m convinced that the simple – yet profound process of making, baking, and breaking bread together can realize greater empathy, integration, and collaboration between diverse ethnic groups and initiate innovative human connection.”
Ken joins the group of other two previously trained practitioners from the UK, Sue Beveridge based in Scotland, and Albert Smith, originally from South Africa. Albert got trained in our methods at the Sofia Bread House in 2015, and since then has been combining both stand-up comedy performances and Bread Therapy with various groups, especially children and people suffering depression, in the Birmingham area and beyond.
Most recently, in 2021-22, Albert completed a six-month program implementing a community bakery in Bearwood with refugee women.