PRA Epileptics Success Story
|Helping epileptics help themselves in the Peruvian Andes|
USAID is helping epileptics in Ayacucho build capabilities to seize untapped market opportunities to overcome poverty and improve their quality of life.
Gino Nieto, president of the Epi-leptics Association of Ayacucho and general manager of Masado-rada, is surrounded by his fellow team members –also epileptic-. Panetón, the star product, appears in its box in the middle of part of their product line. Ingenuity is evident in their creations: the monument and the church on the table are actual cakes. Running a successful growing business is bringing high hopes and great enthu-siasm
Masadorada (a word that results from joining the words “dough” and “golden” in Spanish) is a bakery owned by the Epileptics Association of Ayacucho which groups 250 members, many of them children, who suffer from this disorder. Gino Nieto, president of the Association, and ten members who are single mothers run the bakery and produce different types of bread, cakes, sweets, appetizers, and panetón, a typical Christmas cake originated in Italy and highly consumed in Peru during the national independence festivities (July) and the Christmas season.
Masadorada operates in its own premises and, in spite of having modern baking machinery and equipment, it only used 5% of its capacity. After having identified great market potential for Masadorada’s products, USAID’s PRA Project began helping it build its own production, managerial, and marketing capabilities by providing technical assistance in new product development, organization management, and market development. In a very short time, Masadorada has signed contracts to supply bread on a daily basis to different organizations and is negotiating deals to provide significant amounts of its star product: the panetón, in both big and individual sizes.
In July 2010, Masadorada started providing military school Basilio Auqui with 650 units of bread daily. Three months later, Masadorada became subcontractor of “Tres Estrellas”, currently meal caterer of the National Prisons Institute for Yanamilla Prison in Ayacucho, with a daily supply of 9,000 units of bread. But a greater expansion of Masadorada’s production is coming for the Christmas season: the National Program for the Family Wellbeing (INABIF), an organization of the Ministry of Women and Social Development, will source panetón from Masadorada not only for its workforce in Ayacucho but also for the wawa wasis (kids’ houses in Quechua language), the program units which provide protection to children at risk and living in poverty conditions, in Puquio and Cora Cora. Telecommunications company Claro has also ordered over 1,000 panetones for its personnel in Ayacucho, Huancavelica, and Ica, and will add the purchase of individual size panetones for children included in their corporate social responsibility activities. To celebrate its anniversary, CACVRA, the Agricultural Coffee Cooperative of the Apurímac River Valley, is also demanding over 2,000 panetones from Masadorada.Earnings made from bread and panetón sales by Masadorada will be used in activities to benefit the 250 members of the Epileptics Association of Ayacucho. Masadora’s articulation with the market and its subsequent sales growth –with the support of USAID’s PRA Project− has brought hope to the epileptics in Ayacucho. Moreover, it has given ten single mothers –also epileptic− a valuable means to make a living for themselves and their families and at the same time to lend a hand to others suffering from the same disorder.