Celebrating Half A Decade Of Baking A Better World
Five years ago, when our first Mercy Bakery was built in Sana’a, Yemen, I could only dream of how many lives we would change. We’re so proud of all that we’ve achieved, none of which would have been possible without all of you. Let’s take a look at some of our biggest milestones.
Five Countries In Five Years
Mercy Bakery began in 2018 when I received the devastating news that I never imagined I’d receive – my brother had tragically died in the war in Yemen. To make the situation more heartbreaking, he left behind his wife and five young children.
To support them, as well as other families who lost their breadwinners, I built a bakery in their community to supply bread daily. It didn’t take long for neighboring communities to start asking for a bakery in their own neighborhoods. Five years later, we now have bakeries in Yemen, Pakistan and Türkiye, and we’re currently laying the groundwork for bakeries in Peru and Honduras.
It’s been so exciting to see Mercy Bakery expand at the rate that it has, and we can’t wait to open our first bakeries in more corners of the globe.
Doubling Bread Production
Imagine being a child and only receiving one piece of bread to feed you for the day. If you lost that piece of bread, you would go hungry until the next day. That was the reality of my childhood and, unfortunately, remains the case for many children around the world.
Mercy Bakery was founded on the belief that everybody is entitled to the most basic source of sustenance – bread. While we may still be at the start of our journey, the rate at which we’ve increased our bread production over the years is cause for celebration. Last year, we produced 8 million loaves of bread mashAllah, compared to just 4 million the previous year. In total, we have produced almost 18 million loaves of bread since 2018. We can’t wait to see how many we produce this year.
Introducing Mercy Kitchens
While bread is a dietary staple, we identified a need to expand our offerings, and providing warm meals was the next logical step.
So, in 2020, we opened Mercy Kitchen. The kitchens provide a variety of warm meals, such as rice, chicken, and vegetables. We’re pleased to say that eight of our Mercy Kitchens in Yemen now accompany Mercy Bakery, as do our kitchens in Pakistan and Türkiye.
Last year we provided 490,000 hot meals, compared to 19,000 in 2021.
This is just the beginning. We’re committed to feeding those in need and plan on opening more Mercy Kitchens in the future inshaAllah.
In February this year, a devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Türkiye and Syria, killing more than 59,000.
We realized that we were in a position to offer assistance, and it was an opportunity that we couldn’t allow to pass us by.
Immediately after the disaster, we started distributing relief, such as blankets and shelter, to those impacted. Then, in the same month, we opened a Mercy Bakery and Mercy Kitchen in Urfa, close to the Syria border.
Alhamdulillah we were proactive and were able to help people during this difficult time.
Nurturing The Future Of Yemen
While Mercy Bakery may be our most famed project, it’s not the only way we’re helping. In areas that are experiencing conflict, it is often the children who bear the biggest burden of war, and the situation in Yemen is no different.
Since the conflict began, thousands of children have been killed or maimed, with thousands more being recruited into fighting, and more than 2.7 million children in Yemen are out of school, according to the UN.
To help protect and nurture the future of the country, we’re supporting a local orphanage in Sana’a, called Dar Al-Shawkany which accommodates over 600 children.
We also have projects that support medical and water relief by building wells and supplying water tanks to those who need it.
It Takes A Village
Just like Rome, Mercy Bakery wasn’t built in a day. From starting with one bakery, to expanding across the globe, you made all of these impressive achievements possible through your tremendous support. Over the years, you’ve helped to distribute millions of loaves of bread and fed people across five countries and three continents.
But in many ways, our journey is just starting. We’re so excited to announce plans to build the first Mercy Village. In partnership with the United Humanitarian Foundation, we’re building over 70 homes to shelter displaced people in Yemen. We can’t wait to tell you more at our 5 Year Anniversary Gala, which will be taking place on December 2 at the Astoria World Manor in New York City.
Our first five years have been a story of hope, fortitude and accomplishment. As we look to the next five, we’re determined to build on this success by expanding Mercy Bakery and Mercy Kitchen into even more countries and continuing to feed people living with food insecurity.
Thank you for being a part of this journey so far, and we look forward to seeing what else we can achieve together.
– Maeen Ali, CEO & Founder HRD