Bicycles For HumanityBicycles For Humanity is a volunteer run, grass roots charity organisation focused on the alleviation of poverty through sustainable transport – in the form of a bike. Every year around 1.5 million bikes are sold across Australia – it is estimated that around half of these will end up unused or abandoned. We put this huge resource to work in some of the poorest countries in the world.
A Bike In The Developing WorldWe know a bike is a life changing object the world over. In the developing world it is life changing on a different scale. It allows access to health care, education, economic opportunity and wider community. Sustainable transport is a big lever in breaking the poverty cycle - a bike means you can travel twice as far, twice as fast and carry four times the load - this alone is enough to provide a change in circumstance that is profound and lasting but there's more to this project than just that. Each of the 40 ft shipping containers that Bicycles For Humanity sends becomes a bike workshop - providing employment, skills, training, business, opportunity and economic development for the community in which it's placed. Each of these Bicycle Empowerment Centres (BEC) becomes a self sustaining entity - fitting very cleanly into the model of micro-financed small business that is lately seen as one of the central ways for the developing world to move away from aid dependence.
Bicycle Empowerment Centers
A Bicycle Empowerment Center ( BEC) is a bike workshop built from the shipping container the bikes have arrived in. The bikes make a huge difference but it is the BEC that makes a lasting difference. Each trains and employs local community members to be bike mechanics and small business people - providing employment, skills training, business opportunity and economic stimulus. Our African implementation partner Bicycle Empowerment Network Namibia ( BENN) established this model over 10 years ago and has now built a network of close to 40 BECs across Namibia and into Zambia. Watch this short video about our first BEC in Opuwo in northern Namibia on the left and Dave Sayer's tribute to Breanna Kennedy - on the right.
Bikes For Africa
Watch Richard Sidey and Hap Cameron's wonderful doco about Bicycles For Humanity, Namibia and Hap's ten year mission to live and work in every continent before turning 10. This film tells the story of what we do with a huge heart and shows an intimate view of Africa where many of our project are based.
We always need extra hands. Whether you're interested in helping out collecting bikes or joining in one of our packing days or have other skills that could benefit the project - please get in touch, we'd love to hear from you. Bicycles For Humanity is completely volunteer run world-wide and can only do the work that it does because of brilliant the people donating their time to each aspect of the organisation. Here's a couple of short videos of our first two containers being packed - thanks to Oliva Appleby.