Barrington Flemming, Gleaner Writer
WESTERN BUREAU:Thirteen participants graduated from a pastry and cake-decorating course offered by the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), Montego Bay, on Tuesday.
The six-week course included short-crust and flaky pastry-making, cake-baking techniques, icing and decorating, and cookie-making. Twelve women and one man participated in the programme.
Graduate of the course, Viviene Brown, said the course empowered her with skills which could be used for her benefit and that of her family.
"Among the pastries I learned to make were sugar bun and donuts. But we were also taught to how to make buns and other wonderful snacks. The course was good. The instructor was very knowledgeable, and we bonded as a family.
For another graduate, Leora Bucknor, apart from learning new baking techniques, she thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie.
"I leaned some new techniques, which complement what I knew before, and I also learnt how to make gizzadas, but what was really good was that the members of the class all became friends. We really enjoyed our time together.
Chairman of the YWCA, Barbara Smith, said the institution remains committed to empowering people to function effectively in the society.
"This course in pastry-making and cake decorating is just one of the courses that we hope to offer. We also have plans to reintroduce dressmaking and another course to benefit the women," Smith said.
She indicated that while the YWCA operated a day school in the past which catered to younger women, it was shut down when the chief benefactor, the United States Agency for International Development, reduced its funding to the organisation.
She said long-standing member/director Elaine Sommerville had been assisting greatly in keeping the organisation going through her acts of benevolence.
Smith is also pleading for private-sector and public-sector entities to come forward to assist the organisation as many persons are still enquiring about the programmes that were once offered by the day school and would like to see a resumption.
"We would like that, but we would need the sponsorship to pay the teachers to host the courses. So it is about getting the funds to get the courses going so we can again invite you women to come and empower themselves for a minimal fee," she said.