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, Cycloville has been working closely with Bikes Not Bombs (BNB) out of Boston who has been donating containers of bikes to support the project. We continued to watch the progress of the organization and with our increased supply of bikes, we were able to finally bring them on board as a new partner this year.
The mission of Cycloville is to grow the bicycle industry in Kenya essentially forcing a need for infrastructure improvements for pedestrians. Additionally, through their work, Cycloville is working closely in Mathare, one of the largest slums in Africa, to bring bicycles to the residents and jobs to young people living there.
The main focus of Cycloville is to bring more bikes into Kenya, therefore growing the supply chain of bikes, and keeping bikes affordable for working class people. In the process, they are also increasing the need for mechanics and training youth from Mathare to fill those roles. In 2016, BNB helped establish the Women's Bike Programme to empower the women of Nairobi (more on this aspect in an upcoming post...).
Before sending our first container to Cycloville in August we checked in with them to get an update on some of the original trainees (some of which you will see in the introductory video below). In the above photo, Julius (far left) trains their first group of mechanics, most of whom are still involved with the program today. Check back on the blog to find out more about Cycloville and those original trainees... For now, take a look at this video produced by BNB: