Human-centered Design

What chance does a bakery have in the middle of an informal settlement which people perceive as being dirty, dangerous and unstable? We wondered this as we entered #Enkanini and walked around the newly constructed bakery. It has an industrial size wood firing oven. It’s got solar interior lights, and is spearheaded by the most forward thinking visionary in the community.

To find out how this bakery will succeed, we took our team, made up of InSite volunteers and members of the community and hit the streets. We spent time in the affluent surrounding of Stellenbosch, as well as in the surrounding homes of where the bakery has been built, tiny homes, filled with people doing their best to get by with no plumbing, electricity, and little opportunities to improve their situation.

We decided to use the material from IDEO on human-centered design as a way to see what solutions would come out of this problem: What do we need to know to gain the support of the community for the bakery to be a success? After 6 days of interviewing people, clustering the answers, finding themes, we identified solid next steps including some prototypes to test.

Here are some of the insights we uncovered:

  • Many people in the settlement are happy to have fresh bread since none of them can make bread at home due to not having an oven.

  • They look forward to have a place they can go which is friendly and run by people from the community. The local shops are all run by people who do not live there and are not interested in building relationships.

  • Many people work long hours and the idea of having baked goods that are fresh is appealing.

  • There are also many people without jobs and this establishment could provide many indirect means of self employment: selling the products at key locations around the area, buy the product and making other meals that are wanted : more street food, gaining the training to be employed in other food establishments.

  • The bakery can also be a direct link to the more affluent Stellenbosch community which is largely unaware that Enkanini even exists even though it’s less than 2 km away from the downtown area.  We found in our short interviewing time three businesses excited to partner, mentor and support this initiative to build bridges between the large gap between the two communities.

As exciting as all these insights are, the bakery is still quite vulnerable. The interviews uncovered a high sense of suspicion and hopelessness that anything good will happen in Enkanini. There is a high risk of robbery and vandalism which will be a constant threat.

Still, there is a core group of people in the community who will lead the way. That was another insight, that the core team must lead by example and make the way forward for many more who seek a better life. Using the Human-Centered Design material uncovered so much more than we could have imagined. Free online classes are offered. 

As we left South Africa I had mixed feelings. On one hand, I felt we had all done something worthwhile and made a lot of progress, and on the other hand, I felt like I was leaving the core team with SO MUCH TO DO while I got on a plane.

That said, I did leave with quite a large TO DO list of necessary things that need to happen for the bakery to succeed.

The main building is built and the ovens are installed. Here is what the bakery needs (see the slideshow of images highlighting these needs):

  • Before bread can be baked, extraction fans and a countertop to prepare the dough need to be installed.

  • A cage top half needs to be installed to protect from theft when bakery is closed.

  • Another window for increased circulation needs to be made.

  • A storage room/battery enclosure needs to be built.  

  • Water basin installed in the kitchen

  • Walled off section for the security guard to sleep.

  • Outside WC for guests

  • Water drain pipe installed to keep rainfall from flooding the entrance

  • Walkway from seating area to WC which will be off the kitchen side of the bakery.

  • Start up capital for baking ingredients.

All the labor will be done by local residents so the need  is mostly for materials. Estimated costs for all of the above is roughly €4000. We didn’t discuss how these things would be accomplished. They are planning on doing what they can when they have the funds.

InSite would like to see if we can contribute by raising some of the funds needed so that they can start baking and earning money. We’d love for you to join us and make a contribution today and help this community move forward in real and substantial ways. 

Hear Yondela speak about the vision for the bakery here.

Donate here: InSite's pifworld page. 


First Bakery in Settlement 

Below are pictures showing the final touches needed for the Bakery.