I cycle because I enjoy it. I cycle because it keeps me fit and healthy. I cycle because I can. I’m lucky.
A bike, for many people in Africa, is beyond their means however. On the other hand, a bike can be an invaluable, affordable and sustainable means of transport which can generate wealth.
Charities, like Re-Cycle based in Essex, collect unwanted second-hand bikes, refurbish and ship them to partners in Africa where they are distributed to people who are taught how to maintain and repair them so they can then use these bikes.
In Africa, a bike benefits many and can be used:
- – By healthcare workers who can visit rural villages to provide medication and counselling to people living with HIV/Aids or malaria
- – By children who have to walk miles to school, or simply do not attend because it is too far
- – By women to collect water, firewood and food
- – Unemployed people who can start a bike shop or delivery business
- – As an ambulance service in remote regions
There are other charities outside of the UK who undertake similar work. Here’s a list, for anyone interested:
- USA – Bicycles For Humanity
- Canada – Bicycles Without Borders
- South Africa – Bike Empowerment Network
- Namibia – BEN Namibia
- UK – Re-Cycle