The school oven and the whole small wooden house built around it are used for two purposes: one is engage the children in regular weekly baking using the proven methods for Bread Therapy (www.breadtherapy.net) of the Bread Houses Network, developing various social, life and work skills; second, the Bread House serves as a space for social integration of these children, which are in such a vulnerable position often not only because of their various disabilities but also from the Roma ethnic minority, uniting them to bake with others from the local community around the wood-fired oven.
An enthusiastic high school principal in the town of Nova Zagora got inspired by the Bread Houses Network initiatives and decided to build an oven in her school’s yard. The school oven soon became a community oven, around which the high school students get together to make bread with people of various ages, with children from a local orphanage, and also baking with refugees from the local refugee camp in the village of Bania. Community baking with the refugees proved to be a wonderful method for social integration, as the diverse cultures share their traditions and become more easily accepted in the local community. This experience gave birth to the Bread Houses Network program called “Ovens for Peace” particularly dedicated to building peace around bread making, explained in more details below.