We've just had our last supper in Namibia, the trip has been a great sucess in both showing Halfords what we do, and in learning how to help our African Partners develop.
On Friday we visited the Singalamwe Shine Bicycle Shop which employs four people, two of whom are women.
The workshop is notable for having been closed in the past due to witchcraft! The local Headman was supposedly having sex with all of the women of the village 'in spirit form' while they were asleep.
In Oct 2012 they built a small grocery store (a mud hut with a tin roof, in the local style) which has 6 months later just covered the cost of building it. Michael is delighted that their entrepreneurial spirit is strong - the shop is employing three staff and providing a service to the local community.
Today we visited the a bike workshop based at the Family Health Service (FHS), founded in 2003, who feed and support 264 children in Windhoek – a successful project which is looking for bigger premises. Their work includes getting people birth certificates, so they can have government funded schooling and grants if they are orphans and getting people to school if they've dropped out or never attended due to work or looking after siblings.
Funds from the bikes provide food and school uniforms.
Emma (Halfords CSR Manager) was delighted when Derek found a Halfords bike (in the picture) which we happen to have shipped in the past. We had a quite exciting chat with Michael Link, the founder of BEN Namibia, looking at helping him support a bike-reuse project in Kenya. It is run by some people part time and are looking to scale up.