Sanctuary Retreats has teamed up with the charity Wheels of Change, who aim to empower people in developing countries by providing bicycles and establishing small bike sales and repair businesses.
This programme is a social enterprise, combining business enterprise with social good. Some of the many benefits are creating employment opportunities, empowering women, generating an income for a rural village and providing affordable mobility to a community.
Chipego Bike Shop in Nakatindi was our first women’s social enterprise project. The five women who are employed at the shop chose the name which means “gift”. The passion of the five mechanics is infectious; they love having guests visit to learn more.
Over the past three and a half years, these extraordinary ladies have repaired and sold over 6,000 bikes, generated over $150,000 in income to pay for five resupply containers and still managed to support five pupils through school each year, contribute to the maternity ward construction and donate 30 bikes to secondary school pupils and 18 to community healthcare volunteers!
All five women have improved the quality of life for themselves and their families, through building houses, supporting school fees and putting food on the table. And while they are at it, they are breaking down gender stereotypes across the community!