Based on the comfortable life that many of us live in the advanced, first-world countries, it is easy to forget that we are part of a greater world where many are not as fortunate. Regardless of one’s success, none of us would be where we are without the help of others.
Though we are grateful for the many global travels we have been able to experience, we feel a moral obligation to give back to those in need, including those in areas of Africa. One of the ways we do this is through our support of the Chipego and Dipetsana Bike Shops in Zambia and Botswana respectively. These shops have not only created employment opportunities and generated income within the community, but they have also helped to empower disadvantaged women. We work to integrate a visit to at least one of these shops into our Africa touring itineraries, in addition to making a donation in your name to further support these amazing projects.
In addition to the various philanthropic opportunities that we integrate into our custom travel itineraries, we are always open to learning about more ways to give back. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to reach out to us.
Chipego Bike Shop, Zambia
Over 1,100 bikes were sent from the U.S., U.K., and Australia, to the Nakatindi Village in Zambia, launching the Chipego Bike Shop in April 2015. Five women (Esther, Bridget, Sitali, Musole, and Agathar) were trained in business and mechanics, learning how to run their own business and repair the bikes they have. Chipego, meaning “gift” in the local language, has allowed for nurses to reach remote villages easily and for students to easily travel the seven miles to school each day, as well as help bolster the local economy.
Dipetsana Bike Shop, Botswana
In July 2016, two shipping containers with over 800 bikes arrived in Kasane, Africa. From these containers, the containers themselves even being used, a bicycle shop was created, owned by five women from disadvantageous backgrounds. Using the Nakatindi Chipego Bike Shop in Zambia as a model, the women of Kasane learned the necessary skills for running a business. In September, Paulina Endjala, from the Bicycle Empowerment Network Nambia (BENN), visited Kasane to teach the women mechanical training. Now, Narufu Kwese, Neo Kgwabi, Boitumelo Sehube, and Giotseone Basiame have worked hard to run the Dipetsana Bike Shop, assisting children in getting to school, thus improving attendance and performance. It is quite a special treat to visit these women and learn about all the good their bike shop is doing for them and their communities.