Solar Bakery: El Kef, Tunisia
2008 - 2012
We have an exciting opportunity to serve a rural community in El Kef, Tunisia. In the fall of 2008, we were invited to northwestern Tunisia to discuss the potential of serving the rural community of El Kef. The lack of a communal space for training and bringing goods to market has forced villagers to migrate to the city of El Kef (since the late 1980s) without real prospects. We believe the best way to support future economic growth is through a renewed and more sustainable connection between the communitys cultural identity and its most ancient industry. By the end of December 2008, we signed an agreement with La Fondation El Kef pour le Développement Régional (FEKDR) to design and build a small solar-powered bakery, mill and interpretive center. The project's aim is to improve the quality of life in a fragile environment and protect cultural identity.
Village Bakery: Introductory Presentation
Inspired by Local History
The lack of a communal space for training and bringing goods to market has forced villagers to migrate to the city of el Kef (since the late 1980's) without real prospects. The province of el Kef has the highest unemployment rate in the country at 42.6% for young women aged 18-29 and 30% for males of the same age group. In an agricultural region rich in wheat, barley, and oats, we believe the best way to support future economic growth is through a renewed and more sustainable connection between the community's cultural identity and its most ancient industry. Our project will focus on the following components:
- Solar bakery (100 sq. m.): a venue to bring goods to market and an activity rural women take pride in.
- Interpretive center (340 sq. m.): a combination of flex space to improve competencies, create opportunities for small cottage industries, and preserve traditions and history as it relates to bread. In addition, the space will serve as a resource center for sustainable approaches and technologies which might help sustain the culture and environment.
The project's location in El Kef has the potential to have a positive impact on rural women in the region. The opportunities the project offers can translate into social and economic advantages in one's home village. Women and young girls reinvest about 90% back into their families and communities.
Beginning September 2010
- La Fondation el Kef pour le Développement Régional (FEKDR)
- Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada
- Portland State University, Portland, OR, USA
Check back soon for more information about the upcoming program.