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The Power of Bicycles

June 22, 2013
tags:#Africa, #bicycle, #donate, #World Bicycle Relief, #Zambia
by:Lily Martin
In Zambia, owning a bicycle can change your life: girls who have to do housework at the very beginning of the day can reach school on time, entrepreneurs who need to take their products to the market place can transport greater amounts, and nurses can reach fifteen instead of two people a day for healthcare.

The non-governmental organisation World Bicycle Relief (WBR) has existed since 2005, when the Indian Ocean Tsunami caused substantial damage. The original idea was to provide a means to facilitate the rebuilding of communities and lives hit by the catastrophe. In Sri Lanka WBR distributed more than 24.000 bicycles to reconnect children, workers and families to their livelihoods. When the provision of bicycles proved a great success WBR was approached by Zambian organisations to help connect rural communities to healthcare programs, schools and market centres.

To date, WBR has distributed more than 125.000 bicycles to doctors, nurses, entrepreneurs and school children. Moreover the organization has trained over 800 mechanics to build and fix the specially designed and locally mounted bicycles. Kristina Jasiunaite, reference person of WBR in Germany, puts it this way:

“Our Bike is like a buffalo – strong, simple and persistent.”

The “Buffalo Bikes” comprise a heavy gauge steel tubing, spokes and rims. They have a rear rack capacity of more than 100 kg and come with puncture resistant long-wear tires. In that way they are highly robust and able to transport heavy loads over long distances of rugged streets. Because WBR wanted their aid to be sustainable they decided to stick with conventional bicycle technology and only improve the quality of the vehicle components.

“It is important that spares can easily be found and replaced. That's why Buffalo Bikes don't require special designed spares but are compatible with any bicycle equipment.”

Since April 2013 WBR is approved as a charitable organization in Germany. They seek the necessary publicity to continue changing lives by gifting mobility. Let's give them a hand!

Read more about WBR on fairplanet here... or donate to the project here...

Article written by:
Lily Martin
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