Namibia Beneficiaries

BEN Kamwe in Ngoma

Kamwe

This is Kamwe. His mother bought him a bike from the Tuliwonde Bicycle Shop in Ngoma. Kamwe will use this bicycle to get to and from school in the remote region of Ngoma. Bikes in remote areas, such as this, help keep kids in school. Kids are able to get to school faster and on time thanks to the bicycle. Bikes also help the family since kids are able to help with chores because of their shorter commutes.

Eden in new JOY Centre

Eden

The Bicycling Empowerment Centre (BEC), JOY Centre, has become known as the most improved bike shop in Namibia. BEN Namibia and Planet Wheeler Foundation help the network of BECs improve their businesses. The JOY Centre bike shop in Otjiwarongo has certainly benefited from this support, going from chaos to clean.

Eden works at the JOY Centre and presented plans to improve this shop at the regional training through the programs mentioned above. The JOY Centre in Otiwarongo supports vulnerable children with accommodation, education support and a safe, caring environment.

BEN Rauna Shikongo

Rauna Shikongo

Bicycle jobs empower women. Rauna Shikongo manages the Kaoko Bicycle Shop in Opuwo, Namibia. Since starting work in 2010, she has been able to save enough to buy land and build a home. Her single-room house may be modest, but for Rauna it represents security, and a space to grow her own crop of maize. Her income also enables her to put her son through school, and support unemployed family members. Rauna also continues her voluntary work as a Red Cross HIV/AIDS home based career.

BEN Markus Howeka

Markus Howeka

BEN Namibia has gone south! Not in any metaphorical sense, but literally with Bicycle Empowerment Centres open in Rehoboth, Mariental, Keetmanshoop, Noordoewer and Karaburg.

Mariental customer Markus Howeka is pictured with his bicycle, which he uses to get to his job as a gardener. This bike was supplied to the project by Fahraeder Fur Afrika, a German BENN partner.

BEN Gloria

Gloria

Some bikes are shared amongst entire villages. In this way one bicycle really does change a community.

Gloria takes her friend's bicycle for a spin during lunch hour in the village of Okatana. The Sebastian Kamwange Bicycle Shop has transformed the way children at the local school travel and spend their free time.

Sarah of the King's Daughters Bike Shop

Sarah

Poverty leads many Namibian women to the often dangerous and degrading world of prostitution, which carries huge risks in a country with an HIV prevalence of 17%. The King's Daughters aims to give former commerical sex workers viable work alternatives, through its counseling and training services.

Sarah was trained by BEN Namibia in bicycle mechanics and business, and successfully manages the King's Daughter Bicycle shop in Windhoek. Her shop sells and fixes bikes at low costs to generates profits to support other women in the organization's various programs.

Mariana and Isaak

Mariana and Isaak

Mariana and Isaak run the Cycle 4 Life BEC in Mariental. Besides selling and servicing bikes for residents and workers on outlying farms, the two are also generating money to feed the local Catholic AIDS Action Orphan Support Programme.

<John Stephanus delivers bikes to Netherlands

John Stephanus

John was one of BEN Namibia's trainee mechanics, part of a dedicated team that refurbishes second hand bikes. BEN Namibia pays a mixture of cash and credit toward buying bikes which employees can then sell to support their local bike shops in remote areas. Trainees also receive computer training.

John gave the first two bikes he earned to his younger brother and an uncle who had paid for John's schooling.

Mr Elephant with BEN directors Glenn Howard and Michael Linke

Nakashimba Elephant

Mr. Elephant, as Nakashimba is commonly known, runs the 'DRC' squatter camp's bicycle shop. Here people live in shacks made from wrecked car panels, pieces of driftwood from the beach and old asbestos sheeting.

BEN Namibia supplied this shop with bikes on consignment which were quickly sold. Mr. Elephant was smiling from ear to ear as he said, "My heart is very happy. The people here really need this bicycles."

Okathitu Bikes manager Hilya Ekandjo

Hilya Ekandjo BEN, 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.

BEN Ludwig and Max at Makveto Cycles

Ludwig and Max

Ludwig and Max at Makveto Cycles just east of Kivundu will sell you a bike, service it, charge your mobile phone, sell you a solar light, rent you a CD jukebox, give you a bicycle ambulance lift to the clinic or cut your hair! You'll fveel good knowing that their profits help educate local children.

Unlock an entrepreneur's abilities and the sky's the limit.

BEN Rauna Mungolo mechanic at Okalongo

Rauna Mungolo

Rauna Mungolo is a mechanic at the Okalongo BEC. Making enough money to buy food is a challenge for local residents. With the help of BEN Namibia's self-sustaining small businesses, not only are they bringing jobs to this depressed area, but they are also providing valuable transportation at an affordable cost.

BEN Lavinia

Lavinia

Many of BEN Namibia's BECs have gone on to extend their businesses--this one in Oshakati began with a single container full of bikes, tools, and training and grew over time. It has just used its profits to help fund a computer training center.

Lavinia (red shirt) uses management skills she acquired from the bike shop to run computer training courses and an internet cafe.

BEN Meme Gudrun with ambulance

Meme Gudrun

Meme works in a small rural community in Northern Namibia. When she began as a volunteer the social taboos against even speaking of AIDS were enormous. "The people used to throw rocks at us when we first started, they thought we would bring more AIDS into the villages." Meme's calm demeanor and ability to discuss the disease frankly have helped educate dozens and broken down those taboos.

Meme used to walk long distances to see her clients until BENN provided her with a bike. "I see a lot more people now, and at the end of the day I am not so tired."

BEN Namibia

All beneficiary stories and photos courtesy BEN Namibia