There’s a special kind of people that seem to be gravitating to our town. These are people with creativity, vision and energy so abundant they actually make a dent in the world.
Nadezhda Savova is one of them. She is a graduate student at Princeton who discovered that the very simple, elemental act of making bread can create a community. She established the BREAD movement, a global initiative aiming to connect people from all walks of life around the making of the bread. Sounds naive? That’s how all great ideas start:
This is Nadezhda’s story
“It all began with the very first bread I made, with the touch of soft dough and the hot whiff of bread aroma…I loved it so much I thought it must be able to bring the best out of any person and society.
I was working with UNESCO at the time, developing the International Council for Cultural Centers. I lived in Bulgaria, my home country, and longed for that sense of transformative energies that comes with the arts. So I decided to turn my great-grandmother’s old house in Gabrovo, Bulgaria into a community cultural center. I envisioned a place where people can convene around the warmth of a wood-fire oven and make bread together!
My town’s people responded with great enthusiasm and the Bread House became a community cultural center and a community bakery in one! It became a place of innovative creation, of kneading together. A place where people engage with various forms of arts (from theater to painting) while the bread was baking, subtly easing into sharing and cooperation.
Soon, other people and organizations around the world heard about the Bread House and wanted to develop such centers in their own towns. In a mere year-and-half the Bread Houses Network has grown to include programs in 12 countries on 5 continents: Brazil, Bulgaria, Egypt, Italy, Israel, Korea, Peru, Romania, Russia, South Africa, UK. And now we are working on the development of a Bread House right here in New Jersey.
I think that what makes the concept of collective bread-making so successful is, in fact, its simplicity:
Hot bread is loved by all, bread-making can be enjoyed as a form of art, kneading does not require special skills or knowledge and bread-making is not limited to gender, age, profession or ethnic background. It unites young and old, rich and poor, strangers and friends, and people with disabilities.
On December 9, 2009, at the UN World Summit on Climate Change we launched the BREAD Movement: Bridging Resources for Ecological and Art-based Development. It is a world-wide movement connecting people who come together in various settings to share bread and arts. We believe that we are all connected, literally and figuratively, by the making of the bread, and that ultimately we are all crumbs of the same loaf.
On top of that. the Bread Houses Network was recognized by the International Slow Food as an Exemplary Global Model of Food-Related Community-Building. (Terra Madre Network Day, December 10, 2010).“