Gestures of solidarity to rebuild burned bakery in Lesotho

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News of the fire at the bakery project in Lesotho — Retiumetse Church Project (RCP) — has provoked spontaneous gestures of solidarity. The association Association for Participatory Development (ADEP), which has been supporting this project since its inception, has donated funds for the replacement of the ovens that were completely destroyed in the fire. It is hoped that this will allow for the quick resumption of bread production, a necessity for the hundred or so families in the surrounding villages, the orphanages, and the center for the elderly.

Two employees were working in the bakery at the time the fire started. Thankfully, they were able to escape unharmed.

The bakery plays an important role in the Retiumetse Church Project, founded by Sister Gisèle Foucreault many years ago. Currently managed by Sister Sylvia Jone, the RCP includes a home for orphaned girls and a shelter for the abandoned and neglected elderly. It has several programs including education for young girls, empowerment training, providing the area with housing and access to water through the digging of wells.

In addition, the bakery is a source of training and employment for many people who work there. It also creates income for the RCP by selling bread to nearby schools, some of which employ SNJMs.

While the cost of reconstruction is being assessed, the project leader, Sister Sylvia Jone, is busy meeting immediate needs on the ground. In Quebec, the news sparked an immediate wave of generosity among the sisters and friends of Sister Gisèle Foucreault, who worked in Lesotho for 50 years and was the architect of many development projects in that country, including the construction of houses, the digging of wells and the establishment of this bakery. The collection of funds is already under way to purchase foodstuffs, such as flour, and equipment and building materials, such as cement blocks.

Any form of financial assistance from Canada can be directed to Fonds d’aide aux missions, 80 Saint-Charles Street East, Longueuil, Quebec, J4H 1A9. Please indicate “For Lesotho Bakery” and include your full contact information to receive a receipt.

Source photos : Sisters Sylvia Jone and Hélène Harvey