Spotlight Costa Rica

lopez family bikesThe Lopez family lives in the rural settlement of Los Jazmines in the canton of Upala near the border of Nicaragua in Costa Rica. Mom, Dad and 8 year-old Kevin all received bikes through BfW in June of 2015.

There are many small villages scattered throughout the country of Costa Rica, many remote, and residents rely on public transportation, which can be expensive, in order to stay connected with the larger communities nearby. Even more Costa Ricans choose to walk which can be tiring and time consuming.

Bikes for the World has been working with local financial group FINCA Costa Rica since 2005 to help bring bikes to these small communities to help better their lives and improve their connections with larger markets where they sell their home-grown products.

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Cycle Recycle Canada

Cycle Recycle CanadaBikes for the World ships 497 bikes out of Canada. Working with the Tiverton Lions Club outside Toronto, BfW representative Bob Evans helped lead this effort to load a container of bikes heading to the Bicycling Empowerment Network in South Africa.

The bikes were collected in Canada over the past year by a large network of Lions Clubs. On July 18, 2015, about a half dozen of those Lions Clubs came together and  loaded this container in just under five hours. This collaborative effort expanded BfW reach beyond our US border.

This was the second container this year loaded and shipped outside our central warehouse location in Arlington VA. The first was last month in Wisconsin, a second effort by Bicycles for Humanity Oregon WI. We also hope to ship a container out of Pittsburgh and Long Island New York within the next year.

Read more about this Canadian shipment heading to South Africa.

Building Hope For a Better Future

young girl philippinesMore students are about to receive bikes at two school districts in the Philippines. A third container of bikes has arrived in Manila where volunteers will prep the bikes for use in Bohol.

Students in rural Philippines are staying in school longer and even graduating thanks to our support of this Bikes for Education project established by Bikes for the Philippines. The initial school district loaned bikes to about 100 students to help keep them in school, or in some cases, re-enroll in classes. That was 2012.

We visited the bike project in Bohol, Philippines in 2012. You can see many of our photos in this photo narrative that updates the project's current progress.

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James McMullen


Bikes for the World is honored to be chosen as the beneficiary in lieu of flowers to recognize the life, adventure, and teaching spirit of James McMullen who left the earth on May 29, 2015 due to an aggressive form of liver cancer. James Daryl McMullen is described by friends as "authentic and loyal with a passion for discovery and life."

Jim led a life filled with excitement, starting with a two year stint (1965-67) in the Philippines as part of the early years of the Peace Corps. His love of long hikes and boating grew, and a lifelong camaraderie formed with a very closely knit group of friends from the Peace Corps days.

Donations in his honor can be applied directly to our Bikes for Education program established in the Philippines. This program helps rural students in the Philippines attend school and graduate. Please designate your donation in memory of James McMullen and if you'd like to contribute to the Philippines program specifically please put PHILIPPINES in the designation box on the donation form.
Donate in honor of Jim McMullen here.

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June '15 Newsletter

June 2015

June's newsletter introduces our new partners and highlights our work with students and corporate groups. To learn more, view our newsletter online.

To receive our newsletter by email, sign up now. Please check the volunteer box if you'd like to receive an email when volunteer opportunities are available. You can also view our current opportunities online.

View past newsletters here.

New Partners

Madagascar new partner

Rural farmers and health workers in Africa are getting a lift from Bikes for the World as we add three new partners this month. Two containers for Guinea-Bissau and Madagascar will be loaded at our Arlington warehouse and two more for Madagascar and Cameroon, which BfW helped place, will be loaded with sister organizations, Working Bikes and Bicycles for Humanity, Oregon WI.

All three projects will be monitored by Bikes for the World to establish a plan to move forward and continue shipping bikes to support these new-to-us programs.

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New School Added in Philippines

Bikes keep kids in schoolWatch new video showing how our bikes are keeping kids in school and helping them graduate in the Philippines.

A bike can be the difference between an education and needing to drop out of school in remote villages in the Philippines. See how our bikes are helping kids stay in school, get an education, and ultimately graduate.

A shipment of bikes loading on Earth Day 2015 will be heading to a new school project in Fatima National High School on the island of Bohol. This is our fifth school in the Bikes for Education project and our third on the island of Bohol.

New Partner in Morocco

DarnaBfW adds a new partner in 2015. Darna is located in Northern Africa and is our newest beneficiary group.  In April 2015, Bikes for the World shipped its first container of bikes to this Moroccan based group. This pilot effort will mostly serve the youth project, with our bikes being distributed to kids ages 8-15 in Tangier.

Darna runs comprehensive social programs including a youth community house, women's community house, and a teaching farm. The youth and women's houses provide temporary homes for children and women at-risk. They also provide various training programs to help them re-integrate into society.

The Farm School helps encourage agricultural development and a return to the agricultural sector outside of Tangier. The Farm houses 30 children, many boys at-risk. The boys receive agricultural training while there, as well as training in agricultural machinery repair.

The boys at the Farm School will be learning the mechanical skills needed to help refurbish our donated bikes to put them into use for this program. Bikes will be made available to youth living in nearby, low-income apartments to help them get to and from school. Continue reading about Darna and BfW...

This container is being loaded in Arlington Virginia with the help of AmeriCorps NCCC-FEMA Corps and Fletcher Women’s Network of DC.

Girl Scouts Work Toward Bronze Award

 Girl Scout Troop 5740Girls Scout Troop 5740, working toward their Bronze Award, joined Bikes for the World in the warehouse to help load a container for Kenya, Africa.

The girls prepped bikes for shipping and helped load bikes into the container heading to Wheels of Africa. All of the girls have bikes and know how to ride them, but none of them had ever used bike tools before. This experience familiarized them with basic bike parts and tools, making them more comfortable around bikes in general.

Several Dads came out to help mentor the girls and were a big help introducing some of the tools, like pedal wrenches, adjustable wrenches, and the difference between a box wrench and an allen wrench. Before long the girls were taking off pedals and turning handlebars with the Dads watching in the background.

The troop from McKinley Elementary learned about the groups receiving our bikes overseas and the huge impact a bike can have on student or worker in need of affordable transportation.

This team building experience brought the girls together to work hard and make a global difference. While in the warehouse they prepped about 50 bikes and had fun while doing it. They even made a video about the project.

100,000th Bike Finds a New Home

Gerardo 100k bike

Our 100,000th donated bike is helping Gerardo Jesús get to school in Costa rica. Gerardo lives at home with his mother, two brothers and one sister in Tempate, a rural community located in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

He graduated with excellent grades from the elementary school in Tempate. Because of this, his teacher helped him obtain a scholarship at a private bilingual high school. This high school is called Educarte and is located in another community called Tamarindo.

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