MJ Piki is the local Community Based Organisation in Mwanza, Tanzania that is supported by Pikilily and works exclusively with women to train them to ride and maintain motorcycles safely. Currently our women then go on to use motorcycles to generate an income for themselves e.g. by becoming a delivery rider or working as a motorcycle taxi driver.
These women are not only getting a rare opportunity to learn skills and earn much-needed money for themselves and their children, but are also gently challenging gender stereotypes by doing these jobs. Out of the circa 5000 motorcycle taxi drivers in Mwanza region, only our riders are women, so they really are brave pioneers and role-models. In fact, that's what MJ Piki stands for: "Mwanamke Jasiri ya PikiPiki" in Swahili or "Brave women on motorcycles" in English, a name that the founding three women in this project came up with themselves. It is a name they live up to with pride.
In the last six years, our team has grown and evolved, training nine brave, pioneering local women to ride motorcycles. This has been made possible with the help of a generous annual grants awarded since Dec 2018 from the Cotswold Foundation in the USA as well as ongoing support from WIMA, the Women's International Riding Association. In addition, MJ women are enhancing their roles by bringing road safety skills to hundreds of motorcycle taxi drivers and thousands of school children through specialist, in person training sessions, thereby safeguarding futures and helping the community to avoid accidents.
One of the most exciting developments in our evolution happened in 2021, when MJ Piki partnered with Transaid to script and feature in Africa's first, professionally filmed, locally located motorcycle public safety video series presented by African women in 3 different African languages.
The idea behind this is that each video module lasts no more than two minutes and can be shared freely through whatsapp on smartphones. We are hugely proud to have worked with Transaid on this project with such substantial scale and impact potential. Furthermore, we are also very proud to have two MJ women, Catherine and Rosemary, showcasing vitally important road safety messages while subtly also showcasing what women can do. To watch the video content in English, click here.