Local and refugee children bake bread together under the motto “Friendship”

Submitted by admin on Mon, 03/25/2019 - 11:35

Third-graders from 105th School “Atanas Dalchev”, along with Syrian children from refugee families, participated in the mutual initiative of the Council of Refugee Women in Bulgaria and Bread House Sofia “We are all kneaded out of the the same dough”. The topic for the event on the 24th of March 2019 was “Friendship”. The kids drew on flour with wheat-ears, and shared their friendship stories with each other, while learning curious secrets about the bread baking process. While waiting for their children to bake their tasty dough stories, the parents have tried some home-baked goods, prepared in advance by each of the participating families and by the polite hosts from Bread House Sofia. The delightful smell of freshly baked bread, combined with everyone`s excitement to discover his own delicious masterpiece, put a joyful final over the Sunday morning.

The shared cultural and educational experience, is able to make all barriers both between kids and between parents from the local and refugee communities and to turn them into friendly communication All this is possible thanks to series of initiatives conducted since the end of 2017 under the project “We are all kneaded out of the same dough”. The initiatives comes to life within a partnership between the Council of Refugee Women in Bulgaria and Bread House Sofia. The intercultural activity for the whole family unites all participants around the traditional Bulgarian saying than no one could be bigger than the bread.

During the project, children from 7 to 11 years old, coming from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, together with local children, participate in series of educational and social workshops, while their families have the opportunity to spend some time together and to get to know each other. The events that take around two astronomical hours are being conducted with the support of mediators in the field of verbal and non-verbal communication - a translator from and to Arabic, a pictured 3-language dicitionary in Bulgarian, Arabic and English, called “The World around us”, and, of course, the uniting interaction - the bread making process.

Effective, pleasant and simple, the concept for the mutual activities helps overcoming prejudice and stereotype via direct interaction and shared work. Among the project aims, which are not only targeted at the children, but at their parents as well, there are goals such as development of social competences, building friendships, cultural and ethnical differences acceptance due to acquiring deeper knowledge about them, as well as natural identification of mutual values and characteristics. In order to keep the event atmosphere cozy, comfort and personal, each session can include mostly 10 children from each community - local and refugee. Some of them are permanent participants, others only join once, or a for a couple of sessions.

Each bread and bread figures baking activity is related to a particular pre-defined fundamental topic, such as holidays, customs, cuisine in different countries and cultures. “The World around me - What is the autumn like in my homeland”, “The World around me - My family” are also some of the inspiring creation mottos so far. The method is developed by Bread House Sofia - Crumb Theater. It encourages the sharing of specifics, stories and experience of the respective country according to the main theme.

This long-term is realized with the support of the UNHCR Bulgaria.