Bread bakery brings employment, skill building and food supply to Ugandan community

African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC)

SLDI & HESA participant Sr. Teopista is the supervisor of a Ugandan bread bakery, supplying 70-80 loaves of bread per day to schools, hotels, supermarkets and the local community. During an site visit to the bakery, she gave ASEC staff a tour of the bakery and explained the bread-making process (June, 2019).

Follow ASEC on

The education Sr. Teopista gained through both SLDI and HESA help a bakery to thrive and provide nourishment to a Ugandan community.

Catholic sisters in Africa not only implement food security projects to improve nutrition and health in their communities. They also address other issues that normally keep people trapped in the cycle of extreme poverty; such as learning new skills, generating reliable income and paying for school. Cabana Sisters’ Bread Bakery, run by the Immaculate Heart of Mary Reparatrix (IHMR) sisters in Uganda, is just one of these impressive sister-run projects. 

As Cabana Bakery Manager, Sr. Maria Teopista Namigga, IHMR, manages a staff of 30 employees, many of whom are orphans and school dropouts who need to support themselves. The staff bakes about 70-80 loaves of bread per day for the local community. About half of the daily bread feeds children at local schools.

However, running a bakery can be very difficult, especially if you don’t have the skills and training needed to run a business. Sr. Teopista faces many challenges, such as: 

  • Purchasing a new van that’s suitable to deliver bread on the poor, local roads. 
  • Uganda’s climate isn’t suitable for growing wheat, so there is an expense to import ingredients from other countries. 
  • Sometimes, after spending the time to train the employees, they will leave and work for one of her competitors.

But the skills that she learned in ASEC’s programs help Sr. Teopista to address these challenges and make the bakery run more smoothly… with a profit! 

Rays of Hope ebook

Read Rays of Hope

Learn more about Catholic Sisters transforming poor, rural communities across Africa in our FREE Rays of Hope ebook.

Read It Now »
Cabana Sisters’ Bread Bakery supplies 70-80 loaves of bread per day for schools, hotels, supermarkets and the local community.

Cabana Sisters’ Bread Bakery supplies 70-80 loaves of bread per day for schools, hotels, supermarkets and the local community.

Sr. Teopista participated in two of ASEC’s programs; the Sisters Leadership Development Initiative (SLDI) and the Higher Education for Sisters in Africa (HESA) program. 

In SLDI, sisters attend technology, administration and finance workshops over a three year period. The HESA program offers sisters opportunities to study for their diploma, undergraduate and masters degrees in fields relevant to their ministries. HESA sisters attend one of ASEC’s 22 partner institutions in Africa or online in the USA. Because the IHMR sisters are addressing many urgent issues, Sr. Teopista is using her SLDI & HESA education to make the bakery more independent and less reliant on congregational funds to operate.

Sr. Teopista attended Tangaza University through HESA to pursue a diploma in Leadership and Resource Management.  In particular, she found the resource mobilization course to be invaluable in her ministry.

Although the ten-year old bakery is important, there are other more urgent issues that need her congregation’s attention. Sr. Teopista said she could write a grant and submit it for review by the congregation. But, it would likely be overlooked because it is not the congregation’s main priority.  

So, she decided to implement a savings scheme, a concept she learned in her coursework. And, it worked! The bakery is able to run on its own and even produce a profit to help her congregation.

Savings and profits from the bakery have also enabled Sr. Teopista to purchase a bike and two vans to support the business. She also has savings put aside to pay some of the school tuition for her employees. This provides incentive for them to stay and work hard, rather than leaving to work for her competition.

During a site visit in June, 2019, ASEC Executive Director Sr. Draru Mary Cecilia, LSMIG (center), learns the break-making process from bakery staff.

During a site visit in June, 2019, ASEC Executive Director Sr. Draru Mary Cecilia, LSMIG (center), learns the break-making process from bakery staff.

The education Sr. Teopista gained through both SLDI and HESA has allowed this bakery to thrive and provide both literal and economic nourishment to her Ugandan community. 

The bakery serves as the local technical school ‘s training ground, where students can get practical experience. Sr. Teopista is very grateful to give opportunities to the youth who have dropped out of school to come to the bakery and learn skills to sustain themselves. Cabana Bakery’s profits also help the congregation treasury to care for the sick and elderly and pay tuition for other sisters who need an education.

Give sisters' the skills needed to mobilize resources

You can invest in building the businesses of a sister, just like Sr. Teopista, who is using her education to solve big problems in her community. Donate to the education of a sister today!

Donate Now »

Sharing this story is one of the easiest ways you can support our mission:

This article is addressing the following UN Sustainable Development Goal(s):

End poverty in all its forms everywhere End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all
Sr. Maria Teopista Namigga, IHMR

Sr. Maria Teopista Namigga, IHMR
Profiled in article
SLDI/HESA Alumna - Uganda  

Amy Fedele

Amy Fedele
Media & Communications Manager  

Leave a comment »

Keep Reading...

Sisters Rise to the Top of the Class

African nuns are reaching major academic achievements while amplifying their influence on some of the biggest challenges facing African society.

Girl's high school in Lesotho thrives under sister's stewardship

“[SLDI] has helped me a great deal because I couldn't stand in front of different stakeholders and, you know, address them on issues. ASEC gave me the courage and stance to say, ‘Yeah this is what has to be done.’ For that, I’m grateful.”

Sisters improve school conditions for girls in Zambia

Resource mobilization and project proposal writing skills learned in SLDI enable Sr. Christine to improve conditions at a girls’ boarding school in Zambia

Don't forget to follow ASEC on social media:
More impact stories »