E5 Bakehouse helps Kenyan charity combat blindness

Hackney-based bakery, E5 Bakehouse is helping a Kenyan charity sell sourdough bread to fund the growing need for eye operations in its local Nakura region.

The Ujima Foundation is a sustainable social enterprise bakehouse established in 2012 to help provide training and employment for local orphans and to raise money for eye operations.

It was set up by Madeleine Bastawrous, a doctor in the department of primary healthcare at Oxford University, and her husband, Andrew, an eye surgeon at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The couple created the foundation after noticing rising rates of diabetes, which can cause blindness, in Nakuru.

Ben MacKinnon, who founded the E5 Bakehouse, said: “About three years ago we had a call from someone wanting to do a training class with us. They were hoping to start a not-for-profit bakery in Kenya.”

MacKinnon continued: “Madeleine got back in touch and asked if we could bring some bakery skills and training to take the project even further. I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity.”

For every 100 loaves that are sold, enough money is raised to restore a patient’s eyesight.

In October 2015, the E5 Bakehouse finished a second project to support refugee women, in partnership with the Refugee Council charity.

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