|Pilgrims Rest Baptist Church Collection|
This is what we love to see...an entire group or congregation coming together to contribute to the success of one common goal, in this case a first time collection with Bikes for the World. So they collected the bikes AND loaded them on the container for Africa!
Financial training is one thing BfW is proud to say one of our partners in Africa holds in high regards. Bicycling Empowerment Network Namibia provides business training right along with the donation of bicycles. And you might know one of our latest shipments was heading to this very project.
BEN Namibia creates these 'Bicycle Empowerment Centres' which are basically the same containers we pack with bicycles. These BECs contain around 300 bicycles and spare parts and tools. They are delivered to communities where the BECs act as basically, bike shops. The bikes are reconditioned and sold and the BEC becomes a small local business. BEN Namibia trains the locals not only in mechanics but also in how to run a business to ensure its success.
You can read more about BEN Namibia on their web page or ours. For now let's get back to Pilgrims Rest and better yet, the container we loaded today for Uganda.
It was so great to have this group come out with us after a collection the previous weekend. They were able to see how their work adds to a larger project and see why it was so important to process the bikes like we request. Oh and they also got to place some of the very same bicycles that were donated at their collection into the container today.
After leaving Lorton later today the bikes in this container will head to Baltimore where they will be loaded onto a ship and set sail for Uganda. Because of its location in Africa shipping here is actually a several step process and therefore longer and more expensive than some of the other places we ship.
But we feel this project with the Prisoner's Support Organization is doing a lot of good and therefore ship several containers there throughout the year. Bicycles delivered through PSO have helped homemakers get to and from market so they can buy necessary food and supplies for their families. The bikes have helped workers increase reach in the markets therefore increasing sales. Some new bike owners use them to see AIDS patients decreasing the amount of time it takes to travel long distances making it possible to see many more patients. The Hormisddallen School also purchases kids bikes from PSO for sporting events with the students.
|Uganda shipment leaving Lorton|