A couple of months ago Claude told me about his work with a group of twenty women who run the only bakery in Luvungi, a town on the road down to Uvira.
He said the women have their own co-operative and mix the dough by hand, but they can’t produce anything like enough bread to satisfy local demand. Around 50,000 live in the town and most buy bread that is transported over the border from a bakery in Rwanda.
He said that a bread mixer would make a big difference to the co-operative and - because there is no electricity in the area - the women would also need a good generator.
The proposal they put to us suggested the mixer would enable the women to make five times as much bread each day. The economics made sense and so Luminosity agreed a loan. Claude bought the generator and worked with a local craftsman to make the mixer from scratch and now the women are able to mix 50kg of dough each morning. Plus they have opened up a boulangerie near the centre of town to sell the bread.
To be honest they made the request for a loan seem like an obviously good step to take and Claude and the women deserve all the credit for the initiative. Not that they seemed to think this when we visited them this month. They greeted us with dancing and singing and thanked us and we thanked them back and we celebrated together.