FINCA Costa Rica Breakdown

FINCA Costa Rica businessFundación Integral Campesina (FINCA Costa Rica) is one of Bikes for the World's most effective overseas partners. Over the years, BfW has donated over 18,000 bikes to this Costa Rican partner.

BfW Director Keith Oberg described the program in detail on our blog last month. Essentially this program acts as a micro-credit program, supporting local entrepreneurs in rural areas of this Central American country.

The container of bikes donated by BfW is split into five groups containing about 100 bikes apiece. Each allotment of bikes is valued and converted into a loan. The groups bring the bikes and any available parts back to their respective communities, where they re-assemble and recondition the bikes as necessary. The bikes are then sold in these rural areas to repay the loan.

See a list of all our current global projects.

Village Bicycle Project Promotes Local Business

Adimadim Suhum District student with Cadbury bikeBikes for the World has been working with African based partner Village Bicycle Project since our start in 2005. Since then we have donated 31 containers, or 14,530 bicycles to the project. Recently we started shipping to VBP in Sierra Leone where a majority of their work has been focused on training women both in riding skills and as mechanics.

In Ghana, VBP sends out about 200 bikes at a time to remote areas inland to small villages that don't even appear on the map. Once there, trainers engage locals in various workshops. The introductory class teaches participants how to ride and basic techniques to care for a bike. During the program they can purchase a used bike at a very low cost.

More advanced classes are also offered where bike owners can learn more complex mechanic skills. At the end of this workshop, participants can purchase specific bike related tools, also at a very low cost.

Throughout the program VBP promotes local bike businesses by inviting the mechanics to take part, training them further, offering them tools, and encouraging new bike owners to let them handle the bigger repairs.

Wheels of Africa Delivers

Wheels of Africa 2013 updateBikes for the World has over a dozen beneficiary partners worldwide. Each one of the programs we support is unique in how the bikes are helping their communities. We support a micro-finance project, school projects, community led bike shops, welding training programs, the list goes on and on.

Wheels of Africa is our partner in Kenya working out of Nairobi. They have partnered with Tour d'Afrique to connect with several non-profits working with students, healthcare workers, caregivers, and patients to provide affordable transportation needed in their every day lives.

Wheels of Africa also worked with BfW partner, BEN Namibia to help create locally owned and operated bike shops. Wheels of Africa trained mechanics to run these shops and also shared entreprenuer skills to ensure the shops are successful. The stock used and sold in these shops is supplied by container donations from organizations like Bikes for the World. Partnerships with Capital Bikeshare in DC and Citi Bike in NY who have donated cases of used parts and tires to BfW have greatly increased the value of our containers, especially to groups like Wheels of Africa, who supply local bike shops with bikes and parts.

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2013 Year-In-Review

2013 snapshot thumb2013 was a great year for Bikes for the World. We shipped over 13,500 bikes to a dozen partners around the world. We met new volunteers and donors and reconnected with some groups we've worked with for years. We asked them questions that ranged from why they donate to what they get out of the experience.

We also added a few new bike beneficiary partners this past year in countries we currently serve as well as a few new countries. We also asked them similar questions. We heard from new bike owners, individuals who gained employment because of the bike program, and people behind the scenes of those organizations.

To learn more about the work we've done locally and overseas, please check out our 2013 Snapshot. 

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Recycle Bicycle

Recycle Bicycle HarrisburgRecycle Bicycle in Harrisburg is a community run bike shop that recycles hundreds of bikes in Harrisburg and neighboring counties.

Recycle Bicycle recently opened their shop to Bikes for the World, took us to their overflowing parts room and encouraged us to fill our buckets. Nothing was off limits, in fact we were instructed to take anything we needed as long as we left 'something' on the shelf.

We left with a truck load of brakes, derailleurs, wheels, handlebars, forks, even a few bikes. Most of these parts will be included in our next shipment to Village Bicycle Project in Ghana where they will be used to keep our donated bikes in good working condition.

Find out more about Recycle Bicycle in Harrisburg.

A Promising New Partnership

Bikes For Honduras  thru Gildan Bikes for the World has partnered with Gildan Activewear in an effort to bring bikes to Honduras.

Bikes for the World hopes to send its first container of bikes to our newest partner, Fundacion Adelante in Honduras by the end of the year. This project will be made possible in part thanks to the support of our newest corporate partner, Gildan Activewear, whose Branded Apparel division headquarters are based out of South Carolina.

This means the bulk of the bikes collected will come from the Carolinas, both North and South, under the supervision and guidance of Bikes for the World in our effort to expand nationally. Honduras was chosen as the recipient country due to the presence of Gildan factories in that country.


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Bikes for the World Goes To Mozambique

Hirabai ChildFund International
ChildFund International joined forces with Bikes for the World to help supply bicycles to students in Mozambique as part of their Dream Bikes project initiative in several countries around the world. BfW shipped an initial container of 500 bikes to Mozambique in September 2013.

Hirabai, seen here, received her Atlas bicycle through ChildFund International in India. This bike is helping Hirabai traverse the long, dangerous road to school. She has dreams of becoming a police officer once she graduates from college.

Keeping kids in school is one of the most productive investments that a society can make. Recognizing this premise, Bikes for the World provides students at risk of dropping out the means - in the form of a bicycle - to arrive at school on time, refreshed, and with time savings, thus enabling them to study more, do chores at home, and stay in school.

Read more on The Power of a Girl and Her Bike.

Bikes for Education

Philippine studentsYour donated bikes are keeping kids in school in the Philippines. The Department of Education recognizes the importance of a bicycle as transportation to school

Bikes for the Philippines signed an MOU with DepEd making a partnership to deliver bikes to deserving student-beneficiaries throughout the Philippines official. DepEd is helping BfP identify and reach students in remote, rural areas.

BfP started in 2010 under the supervision of Joel Uichico. The initial project was started in Bohol at Baclayon National High School. This year they are expanding into Maribojoc. 50 bikes were also recently delivered to students on the island of Cebu.

Through this partnership Uichico hopes to be able to expand the project to more islands, reaching more students, and lowering the national drop-out rate in schools.


International Partners Update

Ability Bikes Cooperative in GhanaBikes for the World ships to a new partner in Ghana called Ability Bikes. This group was established by sister organization Bikes Not Bombs and has received bikes placed by BfW through Working Bikes in Chicago.

Meanwhile, a spring shipment of BfW bikes arrived in Ghana through partner Village Bicycle Project (VBP). The bikes were used for a training program in Ghana's Upper East Region.

Watch our container being unloaded by VBP in Ghana last May.

Check out a photo album of Ability Bikes Cooperative and meet the mechanics refurbishing your old bikes.

Local Programs

Bikes for Tykes, Teens, and AdultsBikes for the World supported several domestic projects through the DICK'S Sporting Goods promotional bikes. In the DC area, Fairfax's own Bikes for Tykes, Teens, and Adults in need received about 50 of the 18" wheel bikes we try not to send overseas.

We also diverted a couple containers coming in from DICK'S to two of our sister organizations, Working Bikes in Chicago and St. Louis Bicycle Works. Both programs ship bikes to the same overseas partners as Bikes for the World, in addition to running local shops that serve their communities.

St. Louis Bicycle Works runs a very successful earn-a-bike program teaching area youth as well as a bike repair workshop in the federal penitentiary.

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