We have just finished loading a container load of bicycles - this one is now on it's way to The Bicycle Empowerment Network (BEN), South Africa, based just outside of Capetown. This makes in total 6 shipments in the first 6 months of 2010 which is well up on last year when we did 7 shipments in 12 months.
The mission of BEN is poverty alleviation through the promotion of the use of the bicycle in all of its forms,in order to enhance low-cost non-motorised transport, and improve health through linking exercise and mobility. In collaboration with local and international partners, BEN facilitates the transportation of bicycles from Europe, the Americas and Asia to Southern Africa; the establishment of bicycle workshop projects; distribution of these bicycles to strategically selected groups of recipients; and the planning and introduction of bicycle user paths and integrated linking networks.
We know that once the bicycles arrive in 3 or 4 weeks time they will be put to good use. Many thanks to our brave volunteers who loaded the bikes without complaint on one of the hottest days of the year.
We are already now working towards the next shipment for Namibia which will be sent as soon as we have enough bikes to make up the next load - hopefully within the next few weeks.