Bicycle Empowerment Network - Namibia set up small scale bike enterprises based alongside community-based organisations, providing employment and bikes to the local community.
The enterprises are now called – Bicycle Enterprise Boxes (BEB). The BEN Namibia team help set up the BEBs by giving training in bike mechanics, business, marketing, bike sales, logging income etc. After their initial input from BEN Namibia the BEBs are typically self financing after about 18 months.
About 10% of the income generating at each BEB is put aside for local charities and their work – often HIV related as many of the BEBs are connected to Catholic Aids Action, a well known, non-proselytising charity in Namibia.
Good 5 minute overview video here.
- New skills and employment
- Providing bikes to local communities
- Generating funds for local community organisations and HIV workers
Bikes sent SINCE 2005
6,556 as at May 2016
BEN NAMIBIA BIKE STORY
“Some of the men of the village were happy, but many were jealous. They would say ‘Oh, this woman, how can you do it, why you and not me?’ I just laughed, I don’t mind. They make me feel better, with more power, I’m more respected now. People come to ask for advice or what they have to do when they have a problem. It’s nice”.
Rauha decided to train as bicycle mechanic because she wanted to learn something new and to have a profession. At the same time, she explains, if her bike was broken, she could fix it herself. The Tuyoleni Bicycle workshop has been an amazing success because of Rauha’s determination and pride in owning her own bike enterprise.