Success Stories

When we set out to find new homes for unwanted bicycles we knew they would change lives but we had no idea how many different ways that would happen.

From creating jobs for local welders in Ghana, creating capital to start a brick company in Namibia, keeping kids in school in the Philippines to providing funds to run a vocational education, rehabilitation, and employment program for the physically and mentally disabled in Panama.  Your old bikes are transporting individuals--and transforming lives.  A bicycle is about more than getting people to work, school, and health services.  A bicycle can get someone from poverty to self-sufficiency.  Hear from the beneficiaries themselves.  A bicycle can answer dreams and provide hope.

Frankie Hinds

Frankie Hinds
Pinelands Creative Workshop, Barbados

Many of our partners overseas employ mechanics or include mechanic training in their programs. This is why BfW often includes tools and spare parts in our shipments. This provides a means of income for local residents as well as ensuring sustainability for the program.

Frankie is the PCW mechanic. Mechanics refurbish donated bicycles, often changing out parts to better serve the area. Frankie’s expertise is truing wheels. Continue reading Frankie's story.

Okathitu Bikes manager Hilya Ekandjo

Hilya Ekandjo
Bicycle Empowerment Network Namibia

Okathitu Bikes manager Hilya Ekandjo inspects the new brick press with local children. Hilya's entrepreneurial flair was nurtured through years of hard work selling and servicing bicycles. To anyone who's ever donated a bike to be shipped to Namibia: you may never have imagined in how many ways it could change people's lives. Bicycle sales made the investment in this brick-making business possible. Follow more success stories from Namibia.

Imfundo Cycles in Lavender Hill

Faodien Ben
Bicycle Empowerment Network, South Africa

Faodien is the owner of Imfundo Cycle shop in Lavender Hill. This business began as a "bicycle empowerment center" (or "BEC"), established by Bicycle Empowerment Network (BEN).  A BEC is a "bike shop in a box"", comprising a donated 40' shipping container and the 450 or so used bikes--and spare parts and tools--which come within it.

 BECs provide a valuable service in remote areas of Namibia and South Africa. They bring employment and capital to these depressed areas. They also give back to the communities in many ways.

BfP Joe Israel

Joe Israel
Bikes for the Philippines

Students at Baclayon National High School, on the island of Bohol, receive bicycles to stay in, or return to, school. Joe (far left) is one of the  first beneficiaries to complete the program, graduating from high school in 2012.  Here he is helping train younger girls in tire repair, a required skill for all beneficiaries.  Bikes for the World has paired many of its beneficiaries with vocational training programs after graduation; Joe, for example, enrolled in a baking course. More success stories from the Philippines.

Marco Vinico FINCA

Marco Vinicio
FINCA Costa Rica

Marco Vinicio sells ice cream and frituras—fried snacks—in the Costa Rican capital, San José. For years, “don Marco,” as he is known, traveled on foot from construction sites to offices to small shopping malls in a small section of the city. On any day, he could cover only a few sites and rarely sold more than a large bag of fried items and a few ice pops, generating the barest living for his wife and seven children. More success stories from Costa Rica.

Sra Luz de Madrid

Sra. Luz de Madrid
Goodwill Panama

BfW, in addition to donating thousands of bicycles, sends a few dozen portable sewing machines annually, which are sometimes paired with sewing classes and generally sold to women using them in home-based businesses.  Sra. Luz de Madrid received one of the BfW-donated sewing machines.  Luz runs her own micro-business designing and sewing modern and traditional clothes for the local and tourist markets.  With her earnings from sales, this stay-at-home mother covers school fees and associated expenses of her children. More success stories from Panama.

CESTA water meters

Jose and Rosa Hernandez
in connection with CESTA, El Salvador

Through the efforts of a Peace Corp volunteer this family, along with 70 other families of Los Limones, will receive clean accessible water through a 'potable water mission'.

Bikes for the World shipped old donated water meters in a container of bikes that went to partner Salvadoran Center for Appropriate Technology in 2012. Those meters are being installed and used to deliver water to homes that used to 'borrow' water from neighbors. Continue reading how we deliver more than just bikes.

PSO Aisha

Aisha Nakabuuka
Prisoners Support Organisation, Uganda

Aisha is a small-scale honey producer and seller in Kyebando, a suburb of the Ugandan capital of Kampala.  Aisha is the mother of two and spent the bulk of her day caring for her family, preparing meals and doing housework until training to become a bee keeper.  She began by selling crude, unprocessed honey in bulk, but quickly learned she could earn much more by processing it herself.  To keep the honey fresh and earn a premium price, she needed to deliver it as quickly as possible. She is able to do this now with the bicycle. Follow more beneficiaries from Uganda.

A Karim master welder

Village Bicycle Project, Ghana

A-Karim is a master welder in Ghana.  The Village Bicycle Project approached A-Karim to make cargo carriers for bikes it was selling in the market.  Together, they tweaked the carrier design to fit the larger fenders typically used in the rural sector.  VBP now offers these "made-in-Ghana" racks alongside its discounted bicycles provided through the training program.  Program Coordinator Liz Bageant stated: "The positive response to the carriers was overwhelming, as people perceive them to be much stronger than the factory-made carriers that are most commonly used in the area.  Our carriers are strong enough to carry passengers over rough roads, not to mention other heavy loads that are commonly hauled about in rural Ghana."

More success stories from Ghana.

Siek Kamara

Siek Kamara
Village Bicycle Project, Sierra Leone

Siek Kamara, of Lunsar, Sierra Leone, with daughter Zainab (6). He was thrilled with the bicycle he purchased from VBP for half the local market price, and has taken great care and pride in keeping it in tip- top shape.  So that he and his daughter could travel together, Siek took a regular rear rack, and commissioned a furniture maker to fashion a seat cushion and a welder to weld special foot pegs on either side.

More success stories from Sierra Leone.