Bike Mechanic Training Empowers Local Women in Tanzania

By Shakira Nasser, AKP Tanzania Coordinator

TANZANIA | In June 2019, AKP held bike shop training for its 2 bike shops in Tanzania: the Duuma Wajane Bike Shop and the new Doffa Bike Shop. It is the AKP Bike Enterprise program’s mission to empower local communities by employing women and providing them with the opportunity, extensive training, and skill set to become bike mechanics, operate their own business enterprise, support their families through earned income, and help break the social construct of gender.

Duuma Wajane Bike Shop in Babati focuses on women who are widowed, and the new Doffa Bike Shop in Karatu focuses on women living with HIV, and widowed. Both these bike shops will work in harmony, support and collaboration with each other!

During training, the women are taught how to become bike mechanics and operate their business enterprise, but also in addition to these much-needed skill sets, the women are also taught to be confident and hopeful in themselves and their future. The stigma towards widows and people living with HIV, is still persistent in these parts Tanzania; which on its own is enough to break even the most hopeful one.

Duuma Wajane Bike Shop, officially in business since January 2018, has brought about this inspiring confidence and much needed skills for these women. This confidence and skills were seen admiringly by the women at Doffa Bike Shop, who look up to the heroic women of Duuma Wajane Bike Shop and aim to achieve similar success as operations commence in 2019.

A second shipment of bicycles is on its way to the Doffa Bike Shop. We look forward to sharing updates on the new shop’s construction and the ladies’ growing business.