Bicycles For Humanity.
Bicycles For Humanity Melbourne is a completely volunteer run, grass roots registered charity organisation focused on the alleviation of poverty through sustainable transport in the form of a bicycle. They collect second-hand bikes from Australia and ship them to parts of Africa where they will be treasured by health workers and locals.
But it doesn't stop there. The shipping container is converted to a business: a bike spare parts and mechanic shop. The bike shop often becomes a community hang out destination too. And they train local people to become bike mechanics and the health workers and other bike owners pay to have their bikes serviced.
By unlocking the value in recycled bicycles, Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne enables a sustainable model which improves access to basic human needs within African communities.
Episode 45 – A Cause Worth Pedalling For with Andy Gild
Bicycles for Humanity (B4H) is a global grass-roots movement founded in Canada, established with the goal of making a life-changing difference in developing countries by providing bicycles to improve basic mobility, and hence, providing communities with easier access to education, health care and social services.
The organisation and many of its chapters maintain a strong link to Bicycle Empowerment Network, Namibia where locals are trained in mechanical and business skills and the container is then converted into an independent workshop or eBox (formally known as Bicycle Empowerment Centre, BEC) to create ongoing and self-supporting local networks. There are now more than 30 established eBoxes in Namibia alone.
In 2008, Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne was founded by Matt McCullough and Andy Gild as the first Australian Bicycles for Humanity chapter. The importance of the work of Bicycles for Humanity has been acknowledged at governmental levels with Australia’s then Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, officially opening a BEC in Namibia in 2009.
2018 sees 10 years since the establishment of Bicycles fro Humanity Melbourne, with some 20 shipping containers to Namibia, Zambia, Madagascar and Botswana. In addition, they have sent bicycles to locations such as the Northern Territory in Australia and Cambodia, and maintain an association with a range of local communities throughout Melbourne. Indeed, by the end of 2018, they will have sent a total of 10,000 bicycles to support the many communities and partners where bicycles make an enormous difference to people.