Teaching To Thrive

CESTA Streets

In the fall of 2014, Bikes for the World visited El Salvador to evaluate the progress of bike beneficiary partner CESTA, the El Salvadoran Center for Appropriate Technology. In 2015, CESTA became one of our largest recipients of donated bikes for the year.

During our visit in 2014, we dropped into CESTA in San Marcos where they receive our bikes and train mechanics in the workshop. We also interviewed several interns, several key bike beneficiaries, and visited a couple schools to learn more about growing up in El Salvador.

Keep reading to find out more about our visit, the schools involved, and the change CESTA is making using your old bikes...

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January '16 Newsletter

January 2016Another great year at Bikes for the World in 2015, and we owe a great deal of thanks to YOU our donors, volunteers, and supporters for that success. Check out how YOU helped thousands of people around the world get a 'wheel ahead' in our year end review.

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2015 Accomplishments

Latino OutdoorsBikes for the World grew in quantity and quality in 2015. Numbers-wise, we expanded collections in the home Washington DC-Baltimore region. We also established satellite efforts in Pittsburgh, Charleston SC, and New York (Long Island), and shipped our first container from NY in October.

But we also focused on getting better at what we do. Improving the quality and value of bikes shipped, increasing the volume and value of spare parts included in each shipment, and obtaining good feedback from our partners were priorities.

We expanded our reach to four new partners, all in Africa: Morocco, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, and Cameroon. These new projects will help farmers produce and market more, health care workers to visit the sick and prevent illness, and students to attend school and study more.

Our bike collections, loading, and opportunities at our Northern Virginia warehouse brought families, friends, colleagues, and strangers together in service. By opening our doors to younger volunteers this year we enabled families to serve together, building strong relationships while making a global humanitarian and environmental impact.

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December '15 Newsletter

December 2015Mobilizing health care workers in rural Africa can be the difference between life and death for many poor Africans. In this edition we take a look at how your old bikes are delivering life saving information, care, and needed medications around the world.

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Mobilizing Heath Care

healthcare AfricaBikes help transfer patients quicker, help transport and distribute drugs needed to treat disease, and allow nurses to cover more sparsely populated areas where the sick are often neglected.

Distance to medical clincs, poor roads, and lack of transportation contribute to poor health choices for many rural Africans. Fewer than 50% of Africans have access to modern medical facilities.Many young mothers choose to sacrifice natal care because of the challenges associated with trying to travel the long distances to clincs.

Traveling nurses often cite long commutes and low pay as the main reason for leaving the medical field. Many rural clinics rely on these qualified health care workers to administer care and monitor illnesses that threaten their communities. When a nurse quits the position, the clinic is forced to close.

Bringing bikes to these affected areas is helping keep those clinics open. Bikes help nurses travel the long distances from their homes, to the clincs, and also to the patients who live the furthest away. Read more about how Bikes for the World supports projects that focus on delivering a health care system that informs and protects an entire community. 

November '15 Newsletter

November 2015Last month we expanded operations and loaded and shipped our first container from our New York storage facility. This month we are working to collect bikes along the Carolina coast and hope to ship another container from South Carolina (our second) early next year. Read more about the NY container and where it is heading in the newsletter.

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BfW Expansion in NY

Helping young girl to ride in Sierra LeoneBfW shipped its first container from our new New York storage location earlier this month. Working closely with longtime partner Village Bicycle Project, BfW arranged to ship a mixed container of bikes and parts to Sierra Leone to help the program regroup after nearly a year's pause. View photos of this joint effort online.

Village Bicycle Project (VBP) operates in Ghana and Sierra Leone. About five years ago VBP set up a Learn 2 Ride program in Sierra Leone to help students stay in school. VBP focused on education to help rebuild this country after Civil War. But last year the project shut down during the worst of the Ebola outbreak.  VBP resumed this project this summer and our recent mixed parts container will help reboot this effort. Read more about who this project helps.

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Sierra Leone Update

L2R Karim"Twenty five girls at two schools in Lunsar have learned to ride recently in our program there," reported Karim Kamara, Learn 2 Ride (L2R) instructor, back in July 2015. This program is run through BfW partner Village Bicycle Project which operates in Ghana and Sierra Leone. This marked an important step in the program as they got back on their feet after nearly a year of being closed.

Last year the Learn 2 Ride programs and bike library, which loans bicycles to students for school, shut down during the height of the Ebola outbreak. Bike donations from abroad to Sierra Leone halted. Maintenance classes within the country stopped.

Bike riding, however, increased.

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October '15 Newsletter

October 2015Francis is one of our many mechanics fixing up your old bikes once they arrive overseas. Our partners train local men and women to be mechanics which becomes a valuable source of income to support their families. Read more about how your bikes AND old parts can help change lives in our latest newsletter.

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Mirriam Odura

Mirriam Odura "My name is Mirriam Oduro. I am a mechanic."

Mirriam was paralyzed as a young girl living in Koforidua. She is now part of a co-op bike shop called Ability Bikes in Ghana. She is proving what a woman can accomplish and redefining the term 'dis'abled. Bikes for the World is sending our fourth container to this program in October 2015.

Mirriam is 33 years old. She is a mother, daughter, singer, athlete, advocate, role model, mechanic, business owner...simply put, Mirriam is a champion. She is also physically challenged. She is changing attitudes and changing lives.

 "She doesn't seem to be handicapped," says Mirriam's father. She has always wanted to explore, has always been adventurous. He said, "I cannot discourage her from anything." When she puts her mind to something she goes after it.

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