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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100,000 Bikes Donated

100k loadBfW has donated over 100,000 bikes changing lives around the world. The importance of recycling and the impact of the bicycle were the focus on November 15, 2014, when we loaded our 100k bike into the container destined for Costa Rica as part of America Recycles Day.

America Recycles Day is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. It's an initiative of Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and we were honored to have representative from both KAB and the US EPA on hand during this monumental loading.

The container loading began on Thursday and ended with a celebration and the actual loading of the 100k bike on Saturday November 15, 2014. Valued volunteers and corporate partners took part in this three day event. Events included a bike ride in DC, a presentation by the director of FINCA Costa Rica, where the container is heading, recognizing our Volunteer of the Year, and donations of bikes to four organizations.

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BfW Donates 200 Bikes Locally

Phoenix Bikes donationIn 2014, BfW donated more bikes locally than any other year, a testament to our growing numbers. Over 1,000 bikes donated to BfW stayed here at home serving nine different local groups in 2014. Since our beginning in 2005, BfW has donated about 4% of all collected bikes to local groups.

During our 100k weekend Bikes for the World donated over 200 bikes to three local groups. In the DC area, we support two youth oriented earn-a-bike programs, Phoenix Bikes and Gearing' Up Bicycles. Both groups support our mission by teaching life skills to youth in the DC area.

Beneficiaries are learning how to work as a team in a business setting and earning bikes in the process. Both groups offer valuable after school activities that engage and teach its members. They also do a lot of community outreach, offering group rides and participating in local events. Continue reading about our complementary efforts.

100,000 Bikes Donated

100k sticker

Bikes for the World is donating its 100,000th bike on November 15th and we want you to join us. We have a week of activites planned so please join us for one or more and help us celebrate this milestone together.

Highlights of the week will include the actual loading of the 100k bike as well as a presentation from the recipient partner. We will open our warehouse Thursday through Saturday so drop by just to check out the operation. OR grab a pedal wrench or a bike and help us with the loading. You can also drop off a bike any time the warehouse is open.

This container will be donated to FINCA Costa Rica. Bikes for the World has partnered with this organization since we formed in 2005. Since that time we have donated over 20,000 bikes to rural communities scattered around Costa Rica. Director of FINCA Costa Rica, Luis Jimenez will join us this week in Arlington. He will participate in the loading at our warehouse and give a presentation Friday evening explaining how our bikes are changing lives in Costa Rica.

Full schedule of events below:

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BfW Visits El Salvador

Keith in El SalvadorTraining bike mechanics in El Salvador helps support CESTA's main mission by refurbishing bikes and promoting cycling as a means of viable transportation as well as protecting the environment.

Eco-Bici is the repair shop operated through CESTA where disadvantaged youths congregate and learn skills from how to tune a bicycle to how to overhaul and true a wheel. The internship offered to these budding mechanics gives them a safe place to learn and hone their skills, away from the dangerous street life where gangs threaten many small businesses.

Bikes for the World visited CESTA in September 2014 and we sat down with some of the interns working in the program. We also visited the shop and met with several local vendors who receive our donated bikes.

In additional to running the Eco-Bici project, CESTA also works strongly to improve the quality of life in harmony with the environment. The bicycle project complements this mission while working to keep youths uninvolved with gangs. Learn more about Eco-Bici and how our bikes are supporting this important project in El Salvador.

BfW Visits Panama

Keith in PanamaDonated bikes provide training to individuals with disabilities and from disadvantaged backgrounds through our partnership with Goodwill Panama.

BfW visited Goodwill Panama in September 2014 to get a better sense of how the program is going and what we can do to improve the shipments to Panama. During our visit we met with the board and staff at Goodwill Panama. We spoke with several bike mechanics and also met with a few of our bike beneficiaries. Learn how a bike is helping a local bricklayer save time and earn more for his family.

Bike use in Panama is largely a recreational activity. Bikes that are donated to Goodwill Panama are reconditioned in their shop and sold to the public in the storefront. Bike sales, in turn, help fund the metal program that also teaches bike mechanics. Many participants in the program continue through the tiers to welding, learning skills that will help provide a decent income for their families.

You can learn more about the bike project on our blog.

 

King Farm Update

King Farm barn
It is with great sadness that we announce the closing of the Bikes for the World facility at King Farm in Rockville. For the last two years Bikes for the World has operated a weekly Thursday night volunteer night at our warehouse at the King Farm Farmstead in Rockville.

We recently received word from the City of Rockville that we would need to vacate the barn where our Maryland centered activities have taken place since 2007. The following is an announcement from Bikes for the World Executive Director Keith Oberg:

This ends a seven-year tenure during which Bikes for the World operated the Rockville Youth Bike Project (RYBP) out of two of the farm buildings- the hay barn and a tenant cottage- and stored and dispatched more than 25,000 bicycles around the world, from local recipients such as the nearby Montgomery County temporary workers' center, to institutions and individuals in places like Ghana, Mozambique, and Uganda.

Read more:

Supporting Local Youth Programs

phoenix bikes newsSupporting local bike organizations is an important part of Bikes for the World. From Phoenix Bikes in Arlington VA to St. Louis Bicycle Works in MO, BfW is always looking to expand local donations right here in our own backyard.

Recently, we have donated 10-100 bikes to new projects brought to our attention by other local partners, such as the Waldorf Kiwanis who brought us together with a Kentucky church providing bikes to area youth.

You can read more about these smaller local donations on our blog. You can also find more information about the larger donations to domestic earn-a-bike projects, like Phoenix Bikes, here as well.

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