Baking Student Builds Successful Business
31 October 2018

Gracia bakes a variety of goods, including low-sugar chocolate cake!

Gracia Shawa came to South Africa from Mozambique in July of 2017. She was not able to find employment during her first few months in South Africa. Eventually, she joined the baking class at the JRS Pretoria Skills Centre, where refugee and asylum-seeking women receive skills training and start up materials alongside locals. This opportunity provided Gracia with a new network as well as skills and materials to start supporting herself financially.

Now that Gracia has graduated from the Skills Centre, she has her own baking business and sells her products to clients after church services and by custom order. She can bake any variety of baked goods and offers low-sugar options as well. Gracia now earns 2000 ZAR per month from her baking business and is able to support herself and her family.

Gracia also volunteers on a weekly basis to teach two young girls how to bake. She said that she learned a lot of patience in baking and wants to pass on the skills she has learned. Gracia expressed great admiration for her baking teacher, Mama Gertrude, and emulates her structured teaching style now with her own students.

“JRS helped me so much”, Gracia said. She is grateful for this skill set that brings her peace and financial stability. Like so many others, Gracia is able to move forward in her life, supporting herself and her family, because of the support of the JRS Skills Centre.

Sarah Garwood

Intern Advocacy & Communications Officer, JRS South Africa

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