Training Vulnerable Youth in Chad

A year ago, I would never have imagined I would be able to feed myself, much less my family.
— PDev II-trained Bread baker in Mao, Chad

In September 2015, 20 young people in Mao, Chad completed a PDev II bread-making training program. Participants were selected based on their vulnerability to extremism and exposure to ethnic conflict, as well as their ability to meet their basic needs.

The training provided the youth with the necessary skills training, tools and materials to start up their own business including flour, oil, grinding wheels, sugar and a locally fabricated oven. The local Community Action Committee (CAC) provided guidance to the young bakers, and helped them situate their small businesses in high-traffic parts of town.

One innovative thing the young bakers decided to do was to mix their dough in a covered room. Many local customers had grown accustomed to high-grit loaves containing liberal amounts of windblown dust and sand into dough. It did not take long before their high-quality, low-grit product was noticed, and demand quickly surpassed supply requiring the bakers to increase capacity through a larger oven and more employees.

Charging 100 FCFA per piece (roughly 20 cents), and producing 1,700 loaves a day, the bakery is currently earning about 5,100,000 FCFA (roughly $8,500) each month. For the young people involved, who were previously earning less than $100 per month, this livelihood training has changed their lives. They are able to pay themselves a monthly salary, pay the rent and taxes for the bakery, and even help with family costs such as daily needs and siblings’ school fees.

A year ago, I would never have imagined I would be able to feed myself, much less my family,” one of the bakers said. “This training has even allowed us to dream of buying our own land and expanding our bakery. We finally have hope for our futures.