why is pikilily called pikilily?

In Kiswahili, the national language of Tanzania,  a "piki piki" is a motorcycle, hence the first part of our name. Lilies are traditionally the flower of women and partnership. Put the two together and you get a name that sounds a lot like Claire's favourite chutney.

why are you focussing on female apprentices?

We strongly believe that anybody can ride or maintain a motorcycle if they are given the right training and encouragement.  We also strongly believe in equal opportunities.  Right now in Tanzania, there are few to be found for women outside traditional and limited roles, especially in male dominated areas such as motorcycling and motorcycle maintenance.  So, we've decided to be the change and create that opportunity with Tanzania's First Women's Motorcycle Maintenance workshop! We love to support Tanzanian women, not least because they are usually great at running their own businesses and reinvesting their profits in their children's wellbeing and education, so we are excited to support them in that.   

why did you choose to set up in mwanza?

Mwanza is Tanzania's second largest city, situated on the banks of the mighty Lake Victoria, so has fantastic transport links not only to Dar es Salaam but also to Kenya and Uganda, meaning that sourcing materials from other places is relatively straight forward and budget-friendly.  Its also a beautiful spot!

what is a motorcycle ambulance (and why not just use a normal 4 wheeled ambulance?)?

The motorcycle ambulances we are working with are eRangers, a fantastic British design, which looks a lot like a motorcycle plus sidecar unit, except in this case, the sidecar has been modified to look like a stretcher in a cage on wheels, crudely speaking.  These bikes are very robust and designed for offroad conditions, so ideal for riding out to visit rural communities.  They are also a great deal cheaper to purchase and run compared to a 4WD car.

what is your ultimate goal?

Our aims are as follows:

  • to render "motorcycle wards" in Tanzanian hospitals obsolete, due to huge reduction in motorcycle crashes
  • to ensure that in rural Tanzania, there is always emergency transport just a phone call away if it's needed
  • to help create a world where there's nothing remarkable about a woman riding a motorcycle (or indeed fixing one)

how can I help or get involved?

Loads of ways!  It depends who you are...

  • if you are an individual, you may wish to donate, start a fundraising idea, spread the word by telling a friend or talking about us on social media or indeed you may even wish to become a Pikilily ambassador!  If so, just send us an email at claire@pikilily.com
  • if you are a corporate, foundation or trust, you may wish to get in touch to talk about ways in which you could sponsor us or support our cause.  If so, we would love to hear from you!  As above, please ping us an email at claire@pikilily.com or WhatsApp us on +44 7850 951 614 to arrange a call
  • If you are a newspaper, magazine, radio station or TV channel and want to cover a story on our work, that's great!  Again, please contact us as described above