AKP Australia ships hundreds of bikes to Bwindi, Uganda
Abercrombie and Kent Philanthropy Australia (AKP), working with the Western Australian Chapter of Bicycles for Humanity, recently shipped 433 bikes to the Bwindi Women Bicycle Enterprise, as part of the AKP Bike Shop program.
Sujata Raman, regional managing director of A&K Australia says “A&K has long believed that travel comes with a unique responsibility to leave the world a better place than we found it, to respect the natural environment, and positively impact lives and livelihoods in the many communities where A&K guests travel.” This belief led to the establishment of A&K Philanthropy (AKP) in 1982, and today there are 35 AKP projects across the globe, including the Bwindi Women Bicycle Enterprise. An Australian arm of Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy was established earlier this year, and the shipment of bikes to Bwindi is the first project of AKP Australia.
The AKP Bike Shop program now includes five bike enterprises in Botswana, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda and Jordan. The first AKP-supported bike shop was established at Nakatindi village in Zambia near Victoria Falls in 2015. The objective was to help sustain livelihoods in the community, create jobs and empower women. The benefits are making a positive impact with improved healthcare and education for the entire community.
The Bwindi bike shop in Uganda employs five local women from the communities around the Bwindi National Park, home to A&K’s Sanctuary Retreats Gorilla Forest Camp and several AKP projects, along with some of the world’s last remaining communities of mountain gorillas.
The women in the Bwindi bike shop have undergone extensive training in business skills and bike mechanics. Furthermore, they are using the shipments of used bikes and the shipping containers themselves to set up a village bike shop and tourism enterprise.
The shop has provided the women with the opportunity to earn additional sources of income while also allowing vital transportation within the community. The bike shop also serves as social initiative, with a portion of the profits set aside to be used in charitable initiatives in the community, such as investments in local healthcare and conservation, and school fee sponsorship of orphaned students.
A&K guests can visit the bike shop in Uganda and meet the inspiring women, learn more about their business, and experience their local village first hand by taking a guided bike ride.
For more information on this and other AKP projects, visit abercrombiekent.com.au/philanthropy.