- Published on Tuesday, 21 October 2014 19:01
Beneficiaries in northern Costa Rica are using our donated bikes to get to work and school. In September, Bikes for the World visited Costa Rica to find out more about long-standing partner FINCA Costa Rica and meet some of these bike beneficiaries.
Over the years BfW has donated over 20,000 bikes to this micro-finance group. Each container is often split between many communities, reaching all corners of rural Costa Rica.
Our donated bikes are reassembled in these small communities and sold at a low cost to community members who need affordable transportation. The profits from the bike sales are reinvested in the community to help fund smaller businesses such as community markets and clothing stores.
Find out more about how these community run programs work on our blog and stay tuned for more updates from that trip to Central America where we also visited Panama and El Salvador.
- Published on Monday, 06 October 2014 19:41
BfW visited Goodwill Panama in September 2014 to get a better sense of how the program is going and what we can do to improve the shipments to Panama. During our visit we met with the board and staff at Goodwill Panama. We spoke with several bike mechanics and also met with a few of our bike beneficiaries. Learn how a bike is helping a local bricklayer save time and earn more for his family.
Bike use in Panama is largely a recreational activity. Bikes that are donated to Goodwill Panama are reconditioned in their shop and sold to the public in the storefront. Bike sales, in turn, help fund the metal program that also teaches bike mechanics. Many participants in the program continue through the tiers to welding, learning skills that will help provide a decent income for their families.
- Published on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 18:10
It is with great sadness that we announce the closing of the Bikes for the World facility at King Farm in Rockville. For the last two years Bikes for the World has operated a weekly Thursday night volunteer night at our warehouse at the King Farm Farmstead in Rockville.
We recently received word from the City of Rockville that we would need to vacate the barn where our Maryland centered activities have taken place since 2007. The following is an announcement from Bikes for the World Executive Director Keith Oberg:
This ends a seven-year tenure during which Bikes for the World operated the Rockville Youth Bike Project (RYBP) out of two of the farm buildings- the hay barn and a tenant cottage- and stored and dispatched more than 25,000 bicycles around the world, from local recipients such as the nearby Montgomery County temporary workers' center, to institutions and individuals in places like Ghana, Mozambique, and Uganda.
- Published on Monday, 28 July 2014 12:49
Supporting local bike organizations is an important part of Bikes for the World. From Phoenix Bikes in Arlington VA to St. Louis Bicycle Works in MO, BfW is always looking to expand local donations right here in our own backyard.
Recently, we have donated 10-100 bikes to new projects brought to our attention by other local partners, such as the Waldorf Kiwanis who brought us together with a Kentucky church providing bikes to area youth.
You can read more about these smaller local donations on our blog. You can also find more information about the larger donations to domestic earn-a-bike projects, like Phoenix Bikes, here as well.
- Published on Tuesday, 06 May 2014 19:03
"We are excited to continue our third annual partnership with Bikes for the World, furthering our company's mission to provide more people access to suitable athletic equipment," said Lauren Hobart, Chief Marketing Officer of DICK'S Sporting Goods. "Together, with Bikes for the World, we're hoping to expand the footprint of this philanthropic program and continue to give back to communities in need."
From Sunday, May 4 to Saturday May 10, consumers will have the opportunity to support the initiative by bringing in their used bike to a local DICK'S Sporting Goods store. Through Bikes for the World, the bikes donated during this period will be repurposed and distributed to lower income communities in the U.S. and around the world. Individuals who participate in the trade-in will also receive a discount toward a new bike purchase.
"As a result of last year's collaboration, we expanded our deliveries of suitable used bicycles to lower-income communities by almost 50%, enhancing many more livelihoods through better transportation and generating skilled employment in bicycle repair and maintenance," said Keith Oberg, Bikes for the World Director.
- Published on Thursday, 01 May 2014 16:28
Fundación Integral Campesina (FINCA Costa Rica) is one of Bikes for the World's most effective overseas partners. Over the years, BfW has donated over 18,000 bikes to this Costa Rican partner.
BfW Director Keith Oberg described the program in detail on our blog last month. Essentially this program acts as a micro-credit program, supporting local entrepreneurs in rural areas of this Central American country.
The container of bikes donated by BfW is split into five groups containing about 100 bikes apiece. Each allotment of bikes is valued and converted into a loan. The groups bring the bikes and any available parts back to their respective communities, where they re-assemble and recondition the bikes as necessary. The bikes are then sold in these rural areas to repay the loan.
- Published on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 14:24
Bikes for the World has been working with African based partner Village Bicycle Project since our start in 2005. Since then we have donated 31 containers, or 14,530 bicycles to the project. Recently we started shipping to VBP in Sierra Leone where a majority of their work has been focused on training women both in riding skills and as mechanics.
In Ghana, VBP sends out about 200 bikes at a time to remote areas inland to small villages that don't even appear on the map. Once there, trainers engage locals in various workshops. The introductory class teaches participants how to ride and basic techniques to care for a bike. During the program they can purchase a used bike at a very low cost.
More advanced classes are also offered where bike owners can learn more complex mechanic skills. At the end of this workshop, participants can purchase specific bike related tools, also at a very low cost.
Throughout the program VBP promotes local bike businesses by inviting the mechanics to take part, training them further, offering them tools, and encouraging new bike owners to let them handle the bigger repairs.
- Published on Monday, 10 February 2014 17:36
Bikes for the World has over a dozen beneficiary partners worldwide. Each one of the programs we support is unique in how the bikes are helping their communities. We support a micro-finance project, school projects, community led bike shops, welding training programs, the list goes on and on.
Wheels of Africa is our partner in Kenya working out of Nairobi. They have partnered with Tour d'Afrique to connect with several non-profits working with students, healthcare workers, caregivers, and patients to provide affordable transportation needed in their every day lives.
Wheels of Africa also worked with BfW partner, BEN Namibia to help create locally owned and operated bike shops. Wheels of Africa trained mechanics to run these shops and also shared entreprenuer skills to ensure the shops are successful. The stock used and sold in these shops is supplied by container donations from organizations like Bikes for the World. Partnerships with Capital Bikeshare in DC and Citi Bike in NY who have donated cases of used parts and tires to BfW have greatly increased the value of our containers, especially to groups like Wheels of Africa, who supply local bike shops with bikes and parts.
- Published on Thursday, 23 January 2014 16:43
MLK Day activities with BfW stretched across DC and involved a number of volunteer groups.
Our annual MLK Day loading was moved to Arlington this year instead of our usual King Farm location. With the help of the Meetup Group, Swing Phi Swing, Burgundy Farm Country Day School, and a number of individual volunteers we loaded a container of bikes to be shipped to our partner in Panama, Goodwill Panama.
As it turns out, we didn't need the warmer warehouse location since the day turned out to be pretty nice. Coincidentally, the bike collection sponsored by Meridian International Center was part of a larger effort called #WarmUpDC.
Warm Up DC included many activities spread across DC. Volunteers participated in a knit-in, collected clothes, made sandwiches, and yes, even collect bikes and parts for Bikes for the World. Continue reading...
- Published on Tuesday, 14 January 2014 13:33
2013 was a great year for Bikes for the World. We shipped over 13,500 bikes to a dozen partners around the world. We met new volunteers and donors and reconnected with some groups we've worked with for years. We asked them questions that ranged from why they donate to what they get out of the experience.
We also added a few new bike beneficiary partners this past year in countries we currently serve as well as a few new countries. We also asked them similar questions. We heard from new bike owners, individuals who gained employment because of the bike program, and people behind the scenes of those organizations.
To learn more about the work we've done locally and overseas, please check out our 2013 Snapshot.