Doffa Bike Shop
The Doffa Bike Shop is an enterprise that provides women with the opportunity to earn a much-needed income, while also giving their community vital access to transportation and helping to address the gender gap.
Part of the Bike Shop Programme, Doffa Bike Shop employs four local women who have undertaken extensive training to become bicycle mechanics and learn the skills necessary to own and operate their own business.
Stock is made up of used and donated bikes that are sent via shipping container, with new shipments received on a regular basis, all proudly paid for with proceeds of the business. Even the shop itself is part of the story – it is made from the shipping containers that brought over the very first batch of bikes. Not only does this project empower women to learn a new field of skills and support themselves but it also helps to break down socially constructed gender norms. To date, over 400 bikes have been sold.
What makes Doffa Bike Shop unique is that all the local women employed at the shop have HIV, just a handful of the 780,000 or so women aged 15 and over that live with the virus. In parts of Tanzania, gender inequality and stigma against HIV positive individuals are still issues, acting as major barriers to HIV prevention. Doffa Bike Shop aims to empower women to live a dignified life, fighting discrimination and the stigma of HIV.