Village Bicycle Project
In Ghana reconditioned used bicycles represent an affordable and effective means of transportation, providing essential access to work, school, and social services. Many people have no choice but to walk long distances which is both time consuming and detrimental to personal and familial productivity. Not only is personal automobile ownership unrealistic for the majority of the population--especially in rural areas--but public transportation is comparatively expensive and often doesn’t reach communities where it could be most helpful.
Used bicycles from Bikes for the World create jobs in multiple ways.
Donated bikes are first reassembled and reconditioned in the receiving country. Not only does this directly generate local employment and income, but also provides scope for training programs, such as MiBici in Costa Rica or Village Bicycle Project in Ghana. Additionally local markets are organically established via this small scale entrepreneurship which creates more demand for vocational training in the mechanics of bicycle repair and service in order to support the growing number of people using bicycles for transportation. With this established network of support individual beneficiaries have access to employment, whether it is a service provider, farmer or marketer using the bike to do work, or an employee using the bike to get to work.
MiBici- Costa Rica
Used bikes represent capital for microfinance programs. Each container shipped by Bikes for the World holds approximately 500 used bicycles as well as spare parts and tools. Current partners such as MiBici Costa Rica convert this resource into capital for participating community investment groups to reinvest into their respective programs that serve rural areas in the country.
The sale of bikes in the receiving country has multiple benefits such as increased access to employment, education or health services, small-scale business incubation, and promotion of sustainability via re-use of durable goods. This also empowers communities through ownership of shared communal microcredit entities.
Bikes for the Philippines
Bikes for the World provides bicycles to enable young people to complete their education. Bikes for the Philippines is a cycle-to-school project established to keep children in school through the loan of bicycles. Many students in rural areas travel long distances by foot to attend school, consuming inordinate amounts of time and energy. There are a number of pressures on students to abandon their studies such as low motivation and achievement in school owing to chronic tiredness, conflict with household chores or the need to augment household incomes. With a bike, however, kids are able to cover more ground safely and in less time, conserving energy, and better able to reconcile conflicting home and school obligations.
In the United States, Bikes for the World partners with youth groups and schools to collect and load bikes for use overseas. Students learn the values of recycling, hands-on learning and the benefits of giving back to the community through volunteer opportunities. Classrooms often bring in lessons that incorporate what our overseas partners are doing, in addition to teaching general knowledge of the areas we serve and which they ultimately will be helping.
Community Service in the United States
Bikes for the World provides rewarding and educational team-building volunteer opportunities to a wide range of community groups. Examples include faith communities, service clubs, Scout troops, schools, youth programs, and alumni associations of all types, from university to the Peace Corps. Activities include collecting, prepping, sorting, and shipping thousands of bicycles for individual and community empowerment around the world.
Bikes for the World protects the environment in diverse ways.
Our efforts divert thousands of bicycles annually from the domestic waste stream. We collaborate with several local solid waste agencies to rescue usable bikes deposited at their waste transfer stations. Additionally we work with more than a dozen municipalities and universities to divert abandoned bicycles from the waste stream.
Using a bicycle for transportation is an economical and sustainable choice that can benefit communities here at home and abroad. Come work with us to build a better, equitable and happier global community.