August 22, 2019
Latest News

Women at the Wheel: Bolivian moms unite to provide safe transport

By Gina Baldivieso

La Paz, Jun 10 (efe-epa).- New help for families in need of safe transport for children and the elderly, and the chance to have an income from work that fits in with a mother's daily routine, are some of the benefits of Bolivia's Mujeres al Volante (Women at the Wheel).

Just the opposite of the offensive saying "woman at the wheel, danger constant and real," since the group's main purpose is to provide safety for passengers, who are mostly children, its Bolivian founder Gabriela Strauss told EFE.

This project run by Bolivian women, which has won the interest of other countries, arose from the need Gabriela Strauss saw in families with no one to take their youngsters to school or to their extracurricular activities.

Strauss spoke of the concern in Bolivia and other countries about the repeated reports of kidnappings and sexual violation on public transport.

"I believe it's up to us mothers to join forces, work together, and those who have the chance to take their own kids to school and to other activities, why don't they do the same for other families at the same time?" she said.

The group started up two years ago with just four mothers involved, while now there are more than 50, all "moms with their own cars who provide this transport service in their spare time, without neglecting their own homes," according to the promoter.

At the start of the project the Bolivian woman went to La Paz City Hall's "business incubator" and won recognition for the "most innovative business venture underway."

The prize meant having "a financial cushion" for starting Women at the Wheel.

Those interested in being drivers must present documents certifying name, address and no criminal record along with a driver's license.

They are then interviewed to determine their ability "to attend to such vulnerable members of the public as our passengers," she said.

Many mothers can't hold "traditional jobs" with regular office hours, so the advantage of Women at the Wheel is that they can combine responsibilities at home with work that makes money.

Those who use these services can be certain their grandparents or children are "in the care of a mom" who will look after them as if they were members of her own family.

It's no secret that traffic in La Paz can be a chaos of thousands of vehicles during the rush hours, with public transport particularly to blame.

Another difficulty is the mountainous topography of this Andean city with all its steep streets, which is why many say "if you can drive in La Paz, you can drive anywhere," Pilar Olmos, a driver for Women at the Wheel, told EFE.

Sometimes Women at the Wheel come up against aggressive bus drivers who "see you're a woman and try to overtake you," but Olmos said that was no big problem for her, thanks to her experience on the road.

For this driver, one of the nicest things is when her little passengers tell her how things went at school and even confide in her about their problems and ask for advice.

During the year-end festivities the women offer a "designated driver" service to pick up and take home people who have been out partying.

In 2018, "Women at the Wheel" was one of the two businesses that won the "Uniting the Americas" competition for entrepreneurs and took third place in the Innovatic Awards, which has the support of the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Clients currently contact Women at the Wheel on WhatsApp, though the group hopes to have its own app soon, through which it aims to serve other Bolivian cities like Tarija, Sucre, Oruro and Santa Cruz.

It also hopes to expand its service to other countries, since offers have been coming in from Peru, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, "but we want to move step by step to achieve this growth in the soundest, most secure way," the founder said.

News history
Brazil's president doubles down on criticism of NGOs operating in Amazon

Brasilia, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- President Jair Bolsonaro said Thursday that while he did not have evidence that non-governmental organizations were behind the...

Mexican human rights commission condemns attacks on journalist

Mexico City, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Mexico's National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) on Thursday condemned the attacks by "individuals and authorities" on...

Giraffes get protection on international trade for 1st time

Geneva, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Giraffes were added on Thursday for the first time to a protection mechanism that restricts their international trade in response...

The former neo-Nazi who converted to Judaism

By Pablo Duer

Still unsafe for Rohingyas to return to Myanmar, Amnesty warns

Bangkok Desk, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Human rights organization Amnesty International warned Thursday that it was still unsafe for members of the Rohingya ethnic...

Cuba relying on bacteria to end dengue epidemic

Havana, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- The dengue epidemic in several Latin American countries is also affecting - albeit to a lesser degree - Cuba, where experts are...

Czechs denounce current leaders during rally to mark 1969 crackdown

Prague, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- Tens of thousands of Czechs held a demonstration here Wednesday in which they remembered countrymen who were killed or injured on...

Trump seeks to halt family migration by extending child detentions

By Laura Barros

Brazil's president points finger at NGOs in Amazon fires

Brasilia, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- President Jair Bolsonaro insinuated on Wednesday that non-governmental organizations may be behind the fires in the Amazon, the...

Kathmandu, Aug 21 (EFE).- Nepal will make the Everest region a plastic-free zone by 2020 by banning single-use plastics, a move that will curb excessive...

Nepal bans single-use plastics in Everest region

Kathmandu, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- Nepal will make the Everest region a plastic-free zone by 2020 by banning single-use plastics, a move that will curb excessive...

Thailand starts distribution of medical marihuana to cancer patients

Bangkok, Aug 20 (efe-epa).- Thailand has begun the distribution of Cannabis oil targeting terminally ill cancer patients following the approval of a law...

Hungarians revel in a sea of fragrant blooms

Hungarians reveled in a sea of colour and fragrant blooms to marks the 50th Debrecen Flower Festival.

Pogba target of racist slurs for missing penalty against Wolverhampton

London, Aug 20 (efe-epa).- Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has been subjected to racist insults on social media after missing a penalty in the...

With no right to divorce, Filipinos are trapped in loveless marriages forever

By Sara Gomez Armas

El Salvador woman pardoned after manslaughter conviction for abortion

Ciudad Delgado, El Salvador, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- A court in El Salvador pardoned Evelyn Hernandez, 21, this Monday of the crime of aggravated manslaughter...

Bardem: If 30 pct. of oceans not protected in 2030, damage to be irreversible

By Alvaro Celorio

DNA extracted from turtle shell products in drive to save species

Sydney, Australia, Aug 18 (efe-epa).- Scientists have extracted DNA from products made out of hawksbill turtle shells in a bid to save a species that is...

European Commission president cuts Austria vacation short for urgent surgery

Brussels, Aug 17 (efe-epa).- The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has had to cut his vacation in Austria short for medical...

FAO: 39 million people suffer from hunger in Latin America

Montevideo, Aug 17 (efe-epa).- An increase in the number of people suffering from hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean, now totaling 39 million, is a...

Death toll in dengue outbreak hits 40 in Bangladesh

Dhaka, Aug 17 (efe-epa).- At least 40 people have died from dengue in Bangladesh, with over 50,000 cases reported throughout the country since January,...

Dirt-floor shacks a perpetual symbol of Argentina's gaping social divide

By Tono Gil

UNICEF: Rohingya child refugees despair over lack of access to education

Dhaka, Aug 16 (efe-epa) - Lack of access to formal education is leading to frustration and despair among young Rohingya refugees in southeastern Bangladesh,...

Pacific Islands Forum ends with lukewarm declaration against climate change

Sydney, Australia, Aug 16 (efe-epa).- The Pacific Islands Forum ended on Thursday night in Funafuti, the capital of island nation Tuvalu, without a...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.