A Bike In The Developing World.
We 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 40ft 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 Centres
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 these short videos about B4H Melbourne’s first BEC in Opuwo in northern Namibia, and Dave Sayer’s tribute to Breanna Kennedy.