Bicycles for Humanity is a grassroots organisation that aims to make a life changing difference in Namibia through improving basic mobility.
A bicycle allows a healthcare worker to visit 3 to 4 times the number of patients in a day. It allows easier and quicker transportation to collect water and get goods to market. It also helps people travel to work and school more easily, allowing them more time and energy for studies and family life.
Approximately 450 second hand bikes are collected and squeezed into a container that is then shipped to Africa. The container becomes a workshop and local people are trained in both mechanical and business skills. This enables ongoing, sustainable and diversified employment opportunities. These opportunities include computer training centres, brick building facilities and the purchase of solar energy panels. These panels are also used as a side business to charge mobile phones.
Bicycles for Humanity’s international approach is to build clusters of workshops, creating self-supporting local networks that have a much greater likelihood of being sustainable than one-off projects scattered throughout Africa.
BEN Namibia is established as a single-purpose organisation that acts to distribute bicycles and development empowerment programs through support and local ideas. All bikes are either part of a new hub, or are distributed to existing hubs for replenishment. All hubs require an undertaking of social responsibility, with part sales, part social benefit
In 2008 a small group of like minded Melbournians established the Melbourne Chapter of Bicycles for Humanity. They have shipped many containers of bikes to Africa and have seen wonderful side businesses develop from the initial workshops. They have also sent bikes to Cambodia and the Northern Territory, have associations with various local communities around Melbourne and are currently establishing a program with an indigenous community in Shepparton, Victoria.
The Intrepid Foundation’s support will go directly towards purchasing the containers and shipping the bikes to Namibia.