The need for bicycles in Africa
Transport and development go hand-in-hand. Virtually everything traded, must be transported, and almost everyone needs wheels to get to work or school. Simple, affordable transport generates income opportunities in developing countries, as well as saving lots of time and back-breaking work.
In Britain, millions of bikes are thrown away or lie unused in sheds, whilst many people in Africa have no access to transport of any kind. People spend hours each day walking to collect water, firewood or to access health care, school and employment. A bicycle lightens this burden and dramatically improves their wellbeing as well as work and education opportunities helping to bring social change. A bicycle cuts travel time to a fraction and can carry passengers and heavy loads. Bikes give families the extra time to earn, learn and enjoy life.
Roughly 1-2% of the bikes donated to Re~Cycle are either unsuitable for Africa (such as thin framed racing bikes) or are bikes with disc brakes which are parts that are not readily available in Africa and thus less likely to be usable. Instead of recycling these bikes we sell them at the local Colchester University and our warehouse in Colchester, generating a sustainable income to help cover our running costs. These bikes are sold at affordable prices starting at £75 and many of these bikes are sold to students or people just starting out as cyclists and therefore looking for a good bargain.
We know it's 2015 already! But 2013-2014 was a huge year for us doubling the number of bicycles collected over the previous year. We shipped 7,103 bikes, reaching 42,618 people, providing swift transport, access to health, education and income for those in disadvantaged African communities. So we spent some extra time on our Annual Report - submitted a few months back.
Why not start the New Year by reviewing what we have achieved with your help.