When Evace Kemigisha tied the knot with Robert Kanaama 25 years ago, she didn’t know the responsibility of caring for their nine children would fall on her shoulders.
Like many other women squeezed into an area with poor conditions to thrive, chances of making it beyond the remote villages by the impenetrable forest are slim.
HIV and poverty have always overshadowed livelihood in Bwindi, but since they started weaving baskets, there is hope.
“I still stay with my husband but my husband doesn`t support the family at all. He actually resorted to alcoholism. So, i support the family in all ways.”
As the name suggests, Ride 4 a Woman initially trained bicycle mechanics, who would maintain them for hire to tourists but with the hilly terrain not much was earned from this activity. That is when the founder Evelyn Rubarema thought of a more industrious activity, weaving baskets. Trained in tourism and hospitality, her aim is to empower the 300 women enrolled to send their children to school.
“If it wasn’t for education I wouldn’t have gone back to my community to actually help the women and to help my own community. So, I have thought about if we could do this, in a community and have more people educated then that would actually help the community members. That is the only way we can the poverty and domestic abuse.”
These women are riding on the tourism sector which contributes 7.7% to Uganda's GDP.
On average, a woman takes home $2 for quilting per day.
According to the World Bank, anyone living on less than $2.15 a day is considered to be living in extreme poverty. The hope here is that families can jump out of this bracket.