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World Bicycle Relief
Dedicated to providing access to independence and livelihood through the power of bicycles, World Bicycle Relief is an international NGO that specialises in large-scale, comprehensive bicycle programs. The organisation has supplied over 23,000 bicycles to Zambia. The NGO was originally founded in 2005 by SRAM Corporation and Trek Bicycles in response to the Indian Ocean Tsunami. Since then it has grown to include operations in Sub Saharan Africa, distributing thousands of bicycles across Africa.
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Working in partnership with several local aid organisations in Zambia, World Bicycle Relief has managed to provide 23,000 specially designed, locally assembled, rugged bicycles to healthcare workers treating HIV/AIDS patients. The organisation has also trained local field mechanics to build, maintain and repair bicycles. Their work in Zambia led to World Bicycle Relief’s work in micro finance, education, social enterprise and field mechanics training programs across Africa. With over 96,000 bicycles in the field and 750 field mechanics trained, World Bicycle Relief is changing lives across Africa.
World Bicycle Relief’s approach
World Bicycle Relief believes that compared to walking, bicycles represent an enormous leap in productivity and access to healthcare, education and economic development opportunities. The simple, sustainable nature of bicycles empowers individuals, their families and their communities. The organisation has played a fundamental role in Zambia in terms of advancing access to education. They have provided many secondary school children who live long distances away from schools with bicycles, thus allowing them access to education.
In order to achieve their mission, World Bicycle Relief abides by the following principles:
- Work with suppliers to improve bicycle design while ensuring all changes are culturally appropriate
- Enhance distribution with local sourcing, manufacturing or assembly whenever possible
- Partners with existing non-governmental organisations and government and community based organisations
- Train mechanics in maintenance and repair while strengthening the existing supply of spare parts
- Measure and evaluates the impact of bicycles and communicate the results in order to improve programs and increase awareness.
World Bicycle Relief and Buffalo Bicycles
As a supplement to facilitate self sustainability, World Bicycle Relief has come up with Buffalo Bicycles, a commercial brand of bicycles available for sale in Zambia. The organisation has trained over 590 field mechanics in different parts of Zambia in order to provide servicing and spare parts across Zambia.
World Bicycle Relief currently has assembly facilities in Kenya, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. They have supplied bicycles to people and communities in Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Southern Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Visit the World Bicycle Relief website to find out how you can donate and get involved.
World Bicycle Relief International NGO