Welcome to the Bakery Training Center and the Sugar is Sweet bakery! This one-of-a-kind bakery and livelihoods training program for Yezidi women is a flagship project of the Free Yezidi Foundation.
It all started when several years ago FYF’s leaders asked Yezidi women what skills they wanted to learn and in which jobs and businesses they could envision themselves working. While conducting this feedback sesions, a group of Yezidi women suggested a Yezidi-run bakery, and they had a specific reason for this. An international NGO had established a bakery in the town for Yezidis but hired non-Yezidis as managers. Those managers refused to eat any food made by Yezidi hands, in a bakery funded by international aid. Outrageous, but a sadly common incident of racism against Yezidis. FYF directors at that time made a pledge to try to open a Yezidi-run bakery, by and for Yezidi women. In 2021, FYF established the Sugar is Sweet bakery as a welcoming place for all those who support an inclusive Iraq. Our bakery instructor is Yezidi, the majority of staff members are Yezidi women, and all trainees are Yezidi women. Any who are not Yezidi come with respect, dedication, and a spirit of friendship to our people. Everyone is happy to enjoy the bakery products.
At the Bakery Training Center, approximately 100 Yezidi women each year learn the basic skills of working in a bakery, while earning a basic wage. In addition, trainees receive basic business and business mathematics classes to boost their skill sets and aid in their employment searches in the future. Regardless of the industry in which they choose to work, each trainee leaves the Bakery Training Center with the experience and confidence to participate as empowered economic actors. Through this innovative project, Yezidi women earn their own salaries, often for the first time in their lives, learn transferrable skills, and also help FYF to sell items and increase its sustainability through not-for-profit sale of fantastic baked goods.
The Sugar is Sweet bakery provides invaluable training, education, and work experience for Yezidi women. We invite you to visit, meet our trainees, and taste some of the delicious sweets coming out of the oven!