Preserving Culture Through Pedals


Jesus Mena Martinez is a cattle farmer from Isla Chira. He watched many neighbors and even members of his own family move away in search of a better life filled with unlimited opportunities. While resources may be scarce, life on Chira Island is rich in culture and the landscape breathtaking. It is a hard life to leave behind, but many feel fo...
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Featured Volunteer: Woody Woodrich


​Meet Woody Woodrich, tired and true volunteer throughout the years. Woody became invaluable to us once we moved into our warehouses in Pentagon City. Woody helped us out by grabbing items left at bike shops over on the Hill which saved us the hassle of driving into the city. More importantly he kept us awash in tubes and tires. Back then we were a...
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Harvest of Hope


Feeding programs, similar to this one in Sierra Leone, are provided through schools to ensure that students receive at least one meal a day especially in the hardest hit months of July and August. Food insecurity affects much of the country, but is felt deepest among the most vulnerable, Sierra Leone's youth. While Sierra Leone is home to some of t...
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Planting Hope


​Food security continues to cripple rural areas of Sierra Leone, often for months at a time. Nearly 3/4 of the land is suitable for agriculture, however, the country still fails to provide enough food for its population. During the rainy season in August many children go to school hungry as their parents struggle to feed their large families. ...
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Burkina Faso Moving Forward


​For many young girls in Burkina Faso becoming a woman comes far too early. Change is coming but for many girls it hasn't been soon enough. Several years ago, laws were enacted to make it illegal to force girls to marry before the age of 18. Before then, girls had little say over their futures. Girls younger than 16 were sometimes taken from their ...
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Sew Empowering


Trinidad Montoya took a job of necessity and turned it into a successful, thriving business. Several years ago, Trinidad was faced with high medical bills when her young daughter needed special treatments in the city. In order to pay for the care her disabled daughter needed, Trinidad started sewing clothing and making small repairs for friends in ...
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Keith Oberg Honored by Bethesda Green


Our own Keith Oberg was recognized last month by Bethesda Magazine and Bethesda Green for his tire-FULL work creating, growing, and maintaining Bikes for the World for over a decade. We of course knew Keith created something special so it's very satisfying to see someone else noticing too. On October 17, Keith accepted the Individual Leadership Awa...
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Featured Volunteer: Noah and Sam


Noah and Sam first came to our warehouse last winter to get a few community service hours with their families. They are now our youngest regular volunteers. They've work their hours in among basketball games, summer camps, and homework...these guys are always moving! They didn't just happen upon Bikes for the World nor were they planning to check o...
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The Women of Cycloville


We are Cycloville. These three women were in the first round of training when the organization formed in 2015. Sharon, Elma, and Jackie (seen here with Julius and Winstone) trained under Julius to learn the ins and outs of bicycle mechanics. They are now fully trained bike mechanics who can not only do their own repairs, but train others to do the ...
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Cycloville: New Kenyan Partner


​New in 2018! Bikes for the World added a new partner in August when we shipped our first container to Cycloville in Kenya. Cycloville is not a new organization; in fact it's not even new to us. Cycloville is a network of cyclists and bike shops around Nairobi who came together back in 2015 to form a 'cycling village' : Cycloville. Since that time,...
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Featured Volunteer: Glenn Martin


Glenn joined the Bikes for the World team several years ago while we were still operating out of Arlington VA. No one may have been more excited to see us move back across the river to Rockville than Glenn. Back then we saw him maybe once a week, now it's once or twice a day! Glenn is a huge help to us given his bike knowledge and mechanics skills....
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Gerardo is Graduating


Gerardo lives in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rico with his family. He is the oldest of four and strives to set a positive example for his sister and two younger brothers. When we first met Gerardo in 2014, he was 12 years old and had dreams of becoming an architect. In Guanacaste most families make their money through farming or working in the t...
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Measuring Success


You may have heard us claim that each of our bikes donated represents up to four lives improved. In fact sometimes it's even more than that. We took the red Trek seen above and tracked how it may have started its journey in Martinsburg, WV and ended up with Janet in Lawra, Ghana. Janet participates in a vocational program run through an organizatio...
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A Common Tread


​Janet lives in the northwest portion of Ghana known as Gombele. She travels to the city center of Lawra to take part in the VocATE program offered through Action Through Enterprise (ATE) which helps provide food for students in school and training and support for small local businesses.Through ATE's apprentice program, Janet works closely with The...
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Featured Volunteer: Glenwood Lions Club

Lions Joe Long, Pete Adams, Charla Long, and Harrison Morson

Lions Joe Long, Pete Adams, Charla Long, and Harrison Morson The Glenwood Lions Club started working with Bikes for the World back in 2005. Back then it was just an average collection at the Bushy Park Elementary School. In just a couple years it was moved to the middle school and became a project of the school's LEO Club, which engages youth in co...
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MotivATEd to Learn


Jessica. Mercy. Juliana. Just a few of the students above who received bikes through Village Bicycle Project (VBP) last week. One of these bikes (or more!) may have come from a spring shipment delivered from Bikes for the World to Ghana, which arrived early in July. Many of the student testimonials share a similar story line. Take Jennifer, a stude...
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Recent comment in this post
Greg Correll
I love this program
Friday, 27 July 2018 12:02
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Peace through Grease


This month Bikes for the World welcomed a group of students visiting the United States on a mission to build peace. The selected participants came from Israel and Palestine and were brought together through Jerusalem Peacebuilders based out of Houston, Texas. This year Jerusalem Peacebuilders partnered up with Cyprus Friendship Program, who we have...
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Leveraging Impact


​The impact of Bikes for the World goes well beyond giving someone a bike. In fact our mission states that Bikes for the World uses the bike as a vehicle to provide opportunities to empower individuals to better their families, communities, and the environment. It's really more about building self-empowerment, which happens all along the path our b...
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Tailwinds to Bob Leftwich


This month in lieu of our Featured Volunteer piece we are reserving this honored corner to say thank you to outgoing Operations Manager Bob Leftwich. Bob joined the Bikes for the World team in the summer of 2016 and guided our operation through two pivotal years. He jumped right into our fall season that year and before even getting grease on his b...
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Milkman Delivers By Bike


Fred Musunda has never visited our nation's capital, he's not holding a ticket to see Hamilton, nor has he ever heard of the Kennedy Center. But Fred owes his livelihood to the living memorial perched on the banks of the Potomac River.  How's that you ask? Yes, it seems like an odd connection, but it's a small world, after all. Fred lives near...
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Recent Comments
Greg Correll
It takes a bike to raise a village
Friday, 27 July 2018 13:11
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Featured Volunteer: Records Family


 The Records Family has been wrenching bikes in Cumberland for longer than some of the brothers had hands strong enough to hold a pedal wrench. Mike and Sue (the parents) and their seven kids have been involved with the Cumberland Rotary/Western Maryland Wheelmen's collective Bikes for the World bike drive stretching back over many years. ...
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Tu bicicleta


This is Yirlania, Adrian and her daughter. They signed up to receive 83 bikes from our latest shipment to MiBici. They live in the City of Cortes in the Brunca region of Costa Rica. Yirlania owns a small shop where she also sells meals on request. Adrian is a music teacher and also helps out in his wife's shop. Together they will manage the small b...
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A Trek Across the Telire


The Telire River divides the lush, beautiful jungles of Talamanca from the rest of Costa Rica. There is no McDonalds or 7-11. No fire department, library, or hospital. They just recently built a formal high school. There's not much in the way of jobs there either. While the area is a prime farming spot, selling the crops can be a time consumin...
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Rock Hopper Takes on a New Meaning


For Guisel Sanchez the dream of owning a bicycle seemed as remote as her small farming community in Coroma Costa Rica. When Guisel was born the community didn't even have a formal high school. The residents are from a native tribe known as the Bribri and many do not have water or electricity. Coroma lies on the eastern border of Costa Rica near Pan...
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Because a Bike is More than JUST a Bike


For Karim Kamara, Village Bicycle Project (VBP) provided much more than just a bike to get to work; for Karim, they provided work to get to bikes! Karim is a member of the Village Bicycle Project Sierra Leone team who brings in and manages the distribution of bikes coming from organizations like Bikes for the World. He also travels around the count...
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Grease Corps

From Hagerstown, Md to Accra, Ghana

From Hagerstown, Md to Accra, Ghana May is the beginning of Bike Month, but at Bikes for the World we typically celebrate a month early, during Earth Month. This year was no exception. It was a record breaking month in April several times over. We hosted a dozen community led collections that netted over 2,000 bicycles and a record 54 sewing machin...
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Bike + Mechanic = Prosperous


For Village Bicycle Project (VBP) delivering bicycles in Ghana and Sierra Leone is only a job half done. The critical component to the sustainability of this program is extending the life of the bicycles through highly trained mechanics accessible to the new bike owners. When VBP considers a new village to add to their growing list of beneficiaries...
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Featured Volunteer: Shane Sellers


What a guy! Shane Sellers has been a fixture , no make that an anchor , at the annual Rotary Club of Carroll Creek (RCCC) bike collection in Frederick for over a decade. Shane goes back through the history of this collection longer than most Rotarians have been involved with the project.  Shane is an art professor at Frederick Community Colleg...
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Update on Jake

Jake Palijado (Cebu shirt and hat)

Jake Palijado (Cebu shirt and hat) Jake Palijado was one of Bikes for the Philippines' (BfP) first bike beneficiaries when the program started in 2011.  When BfP was hand selecting the first students to receive bikes through the program, however, Jake wasn't even in the mix. He lived more than three miles from school and his family's mont...
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Rebuilding a Country with Bicycles


The Village Bicycle Project (VBP) is not only one of Bikes for the World's (BfW) longest standing partners, but also the second leading partner receiving bikes from our program. BfW started shipping bikes to this group in 2005 to their Ghanaian operation and added Sierra Leone in 2012. In the last two years BfW has more than doubled the number of b...
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Community Service Leaders


April is a busy time for Bikes for the World as the temperatures start to warm (we hope) and service projects start to lean toward recycling and environmental issues in celebration of Earth Month. Bike donations spike starting now and lasting through summer. This means we get very busy in our warehouse loading containers and prepping bikes for our ...
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More Beneficiaries Graduate


This week Bikes for the Philippines celebrated the first bike beneficiaries to graduate from partnering school, Concepcion Integrated School. This was the first school adopted into the bike program that spanned grades K-12. The Regional School for the Arts also graduated eight bike beneficiaries this year. Congratulations to all the graduating seni...
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Featured Volunteer: Mike Johnston


Mike Johnston is as much a fixture of the annual Otterbein United Methodist Church as Collection Manager Cindy Brown. Really, it's more accurate to call them co-managers. Cindy handles all the emails and communications with BfW, and Mike is out there collecting bikes all year long. It's this dynamic duo that really gets the wheel turning on this ef...
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Spotlight on Alajuela Costa Rica


Continuing with our series on Costa Rica, we visit the province of Alajuela. Alajuela is situated in the north central portion of Costa Rica. Although this province lacks the beautiful coastline that typically draws tourists to the country, it still boasts a visually stunning landscape Within the boundaries of Alajuela one can find stunning waterfa...
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Spotlight on Guanacaste Costa Rica


Guanacaste is a well known and loved area of Costa Rica along the northwest coast of the country. Tourists flock to the beaches along the Pacific coastline to enjoy activities such as surfing, scuba diving, fishing, or just relaxing in the sand. Guanacaste is one of seven provinces in Costa Rica. It is the province that produces most of food in Cos...
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Spotlight on Talamanca Costa Rica


This is Talamanca, an Indian reservation located in the South Caribbean of Costa Rica. During the last few years, Bikes for the World and FINCA Costa Rica have sent four containers of bikes to Talamanca through MiBici. Some communities in this remote area can only be accessed by the Telire River. Bikes must be offloaded and reloaded onto small 'pan...
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Building Community and Service


This all started back in 2011 with two girls from Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart. Those two girls, along with teacher Ken Woodward, would come out to King Farm a couple times a week to help us load containers to be shipped overseas. This was part of their school wide Social Action program and over the years the popularity of working with Bi...
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Kadiatu: Local Trailblazer


Kadiatu is a teacher at the Maria Inez Vocational School in Lunsar, Sierra Leone. She started working with Village Bicycle Project (VBP) several years ago and is one of the few female mechanics in the country. Kadiatu is part of VBP's Learn to Ride program that started in Sierra Leone in 2009. Kadiatu trained to be a mechanic and she now keeps the ...
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Featured Volunteer: Joe Bolandrina


Joe Bolandrina has three container loadings under his belt, all at different locations. He's helped manage and mentor two or three bike collections for us. He's even done shop pick ups and individual pick ups. Impressive but not overly unusual you say? Did we mention he lives more than 400 miles away?? No lie. This guy is north, north, north of us ...
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Bikes for the World Announces Retirement of Founder Keith Oberg


Rockville MD –Bikes for the World, the nation's largest bicycle reuse charity, today announced the retirement of founder and Executive Director Keith Oberg. Last summer, Mr. Oberg advised the Board of Directors, that after 13 years leading the organization, it has a strong team in place, a stable home, and he is confident that it can successfully c...
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Update from the Philippines: Eunice and Cristy Graduate!

Eunice and Cristy graduate

Eunice and Cristy graduate Eunice (left) and Cristy (right) were some of our first beneficiaries in the Bikes for Philippines program started in 2011. Both girls received bikes in their junior year of high school to help them stay in school and graduate. Both Cristy and Eunice graduated high school in 2013 and both received a free scholarship to co...
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Update from the Philippines: Crea

Crea Ocdenaria with bike

Back in 2014 we introduced you to Crea , who received a bike in the Philippines to help her complete school. This bike was donated through a Rockville youth who earned the bike through the city's Earn-A-Bike project known as TERRIFIC. At the time Crea was a junior in school and walking nearly four miles to get to school. Her father was a laborer ea...
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Creating Jobs and Increasing Wages


As soon as a Bikes for the World container hits the ground overseas its impact on the community is immediate. From unloading bikes, to recording inventory, and especially repairing and rebuilding bikes by a skilled mechanic, the arrival of the container first and foremost generates jobs. In Guinea-Bissau our container directly affected seven establ...
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Update from Guinea-Bissau


In 2015, Bikes for the World added a new partner in Guinea-Bissau in collaboration with the Global Fairness Initiative . Over 400 bikes were donated through the Guinea-Bissau Livelihood Initiative, which just came to an end this year. Many of our newer partners come about through larger projects looking to expand transportation solutions while also...
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My Time, My Ride, My Choice


In 2015 Bikes for the World sent our first container of bikes to the established Moroccan program known as DARNA (Our House). DARNA was started, and continues to operate as a safe home for women and children. Recognizing a mother's role in a strong, thriving family, DARNA put emphasis on creating opportunities and training for women and young girls...
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Update from Morocco


Bikes of the World is excited to announce that we have placed a second container of bikes with one of our newer partners established in 2015. DARNA (meaning Our House) operates in northern Morocco helping to give a leg up to the under served population of the region. Our bikes were introduced to the program in 2015 in an effort to empower students....
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Featured Volunteer: Nick & Sarah


We are proud to honor our own Nick and Sarah this month as our featured volunteer(s). It goes without saying that Nick gave so much to Bikes for the World over his four year tenure with us-and even from St. Louis, he's still giving. When Nick started at BfW back in 2010 we were still operating under the umbrella of WABA without an official board. N...
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We Are Phoenix


What is Phoenix Bikes? In mythology a phoenix is a bird with a cyclical life, that is to say it is reborn, given another life. Not too surprising then that Phoenix Bikes is a local bike organization that is bringing old bikes back to life.  Also not surprising that Bikes for the World would be all about supporting Phoenix Bikes. Based in Arlin...
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Team Phoenix


This year Arlington was home to the National Youth Bike Summit which welcomed bike advocates of all ages from across the country and beyond. Our own Phoenix Bikes hosted the event including setting up key speakers, some, young mechanics from their own shop. The summit brings minds and passions together to help build a bike friendly future. Involvin...
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#YBS17 Shifting Gears


What is a Youth Bike Summit? Last time we introduced you to a local group of young writers who are also learning about bikes and becoming young riders . Some of those Story Riders will be attending the Youth Bike Summit this weekend...but what exactly is a youth bike summit? Simply put it's the future of cycling. Every year Washington DC is home to...
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Featured Volunteer: Linda Hansen


"I first met Linda Hansen maybe seven years ago when I first started working with Bikes for the World. That was four offices and six warehouses ago. I guess maybe we've both been around for a while," remembers Outreach Coordinator Yvette Hess. BUT, Linda predates BfW staff by just as many years. In fact she predates Bikes for the World itself! Lind...
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Story Riders


Meet Fairfax County's talented crew known around Willston Community Center as the Story Riders . This exciting pilot program has participants pushing pedals and pens. They are learning about bikes, the community, writing, and yes, even alliteration. In an age when adults joke about cursive being a sort of secret coded language today's kids could ne...
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Featured Volunteer: Lucas Kramer


These kids above are some of our Filipino beneficiaries from Batangas Talahib Pandayan National High School and they are personally saying thank you to our Featured Volunteer of the month Lucas Kramer. So who the heck is Lucas and what makes him so special?  I actually know Lucas's parents from way back, but I only just met Lucas at the Altern...
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Girl With a Vision


This is Honey Jane, a determined young woman from a remote island in the Philippines. From her small village in Mindanao the opportunities available to kids her age seemed light years away. In fact, her home city of Misamis Oriental might well have felt like living on another planet when looking at a map of her sprawling country of islands. Manila,...
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Pop Quiz


TRUE OR FALSE: Joseph Tetteh is the first teacher to arrive at school every morning. TRUE . He is now that he has a bicycle. Joseph is a teacher from Gomoa Abonko, Ghana and he received his bicycle this year from our partner Village Bicycle Project. Joseph used to walk about five miles a day to and from work. He was often late and struggled to comp...
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Johan: Costa Rican Farmer


Continuing our series, One Bike, Two Wheels, Four Revolutions we take a look at how one bicycle often affects up to four lives (or more!). Here we introduce a new bike owner who received a bike from our last container shipped from our Charleston location.  But we also bring you the story of one beneficiary who benefited from the bike project, ...
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Celia: Motorcycle Repair Shop


Continuing our series, One Bike, Two Wheels, Four Revolutions we take a look at how one bicycle often affects up to four lives (or more!). Here we introduce a new bike owner who received a bike from our last container shipped from our Charleston location. But we also bring you the story of one beneficiary who benefited from the bike project, withou...
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Maria: Costa Rican Sheep Breeder


Continuing our series, One Bike, Two Wheels, Four Revolutions we take a look at how one bicycle often affects up to four lives (or more!). Here we introduce a new bike owner who received a bike from our last container shipped from our Charleston location.  But we also bring you the story of one beneficiary who benefited from the bike project, ...
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Plutarco: Costa Rican Pulperia


Continuing our series, One Bike, Two Wheels, Four Revolutions we take a look at how one bicycle often affects up to four lives (or more!). Here we introduce a new bike owner who received a bike from our last container shipped from our Charleston location. But we also bring you the story of one beneficiary who benefited from the bike project, withou...
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One Bike, Two Wheels Four Revolutions


This story of change begins with the bike, but it doesn't end there. Our donated bikes are helping to improve lives in so many ways in Costa Rica it's hard to keep track of them all.  For you, that bike you donated may represent memories of fun times on the trail, easy commutes to work, or a milestone in your child's life when she took her fir...
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Creating Autonomy


Creating jobs can be just as important as providing affordable transportation to jobs. At Bikes for the World we are focused on not just delivering used bikes to developing countries, but helping build stronger communities through access to healthcare, education, and jobs. Sometimes those jobs are created through the donations we deliver. Our bikes...
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BEN Namibia Update


BENN has helped establish more than 30 bike shops in Namibia. These shops are independently operated by local people, who are connected with grassroots partner organizations and have been trained in bicycle mechanics and business skills. The shops sell second hand bicycles sourced from groups like Bikes for the World . The sustainable bike business...
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Safety, Training, and Advocacy


Cycling safety is a big concern for anyone who has ever been on a bike. It goes without saying that includes most of our supporters at Bikes for the World. Many photos we share from our partners overseas show bike beneficiaries with huge smiles on their faces, but few helmets on their heads. Bikes for the World does accept helmet donations and one ...
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Bikes Uplift a Community in Barbados


Supporting diverse programs is one of the ways Bikes for the World is able to affect so many lives around the world in a multitude of ways. Our bike project provides affordable transportation, creates jobs, encourages education, and supports adult and youth programs beyond just bikes. When selecting partners we look at many organizations in many co...
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Teaching to Thrive


CESTA Focus on Environment ​ CESTA's goal is to promote the empowerment of community organizations and municipalities in El Salvador to improve their quality of life in harmony with the environment. Their primary areas of work focus on transportation, health, and the environment. Through the EcoBici program, CESTA is bringing bikes to the streets o...
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Sierra Leone Update


"Twenty five girls at two schools in Lunsar have learned to ride recently in our program there," reported Karim Kamara, Learn 2 Ride (L2R) instructor, back in July 2015. This program is run through BfW partner Village Bicycle Project which operates in Ghana and Sierra Leone . This marked an important step in the program as they got back on their fe...
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Mirriam Odura


"My name is Mirriam Oduro. I am a mechanic." Mirriam was paralyzed as a young girl living in Koforidua. She is now part of a co-op bike shop called Ability Bikes in Ghana. She is proving what a woman can accomplish and redefining the term 'dis'abled. Bikes for the World is sending our fourth container to this program in October 2015. Mirriam is 33 ...
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New Partners 2015


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 Bicycl...
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100,000th Bike Donated


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...
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Photo Gallery


Barbados- Pinelands Creative Workshop The Pinelands Creative Workshop is a community development program in a low income area of Barbados that employs culture, dance, drama, and other programs to improve their communities and assist disadvantaged people. Pinelands mechanics repair bikes in their workshop and sell them at a low cost in their communi...
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