Bike rentals with a social twist, Ride 4 a Woman (R4W) encourages visitors to take to two wheels to support local women in a small community in Uganda. Taking advantage of the growing popularity of bike lending schemes which are flourishing all over the world, their social mission supports the inhabitants of the Bwindi community in the district of Kanungu. The grassroots organization donates all the proceeds to the local community center.
R4W claims that the women living in this remote area in the southwest corner of the country spend long days managing their households: carrying water, digging their family’s garden, caring for their children and animals, and cleaning the house. With little time for them to learn a trade in order to earn money, R4W not only lends bikes to help donations, but has a long-term social strategy. They aim to empower local women by offering training in improved agriculture and animal rearing, as well as in bicycle maintenance, to help diversify career options.
R4W also helps every female member of the organization obtain her own bicycle so that she can cut down on the excessive hours of walking necessary in the area. Recognizing the valuable time that cycling saves, R4W explain that cycling is at least six times faster than walking.
The organization also promotes the surrounding environment, advertising the Bwindi impenetrable forest as a potential cycling route. Home to most of the endangered mountain gorillas and one of the oldest ecosystems, the forest is certainly an attraction to the area.
Photo credit: Ride 4 a Woman