Bikes for the World

Friday, September 14, 2012

Wheels of Africa: BfW heads to Kenya


First BfW container donated to WoA
Wheels of Africa received its first container of bicycles from Bikes for the World in May, a second a few weeks ago and we are loading a third this weekend! This builds on their first shipment in December 2011 from Montana based non-profit Wheels of Change.

Wheels of Africa (WoA) got started in October 2008. Back then it was more of a club for people to get together to ride for pleasure. It has since evolved into a bike advocacy group  and much more. Now it sells and rents bikes, trains mechanics and donates bikes to selected local groups.

You've heard us talk about the Bicycling Empowerment Network (BEN), another BfW partner, here on the blog a lot lately and this is no exception. BEN Namibia mechanics went to Nairobi to train budding WoA mechanics.
New bike beneficiary in Kenya

 While most WoA bikes are sold, many are donated.  Bramwel Simiyu from Arrow Web Hospital for AIDS patients in Nairobi, picked up 12 WoA donated bicycles to be used by health workers who visit patients at home. Another 13 were given to Kijiji cha Upendo, a program in Kibera, a slum area nestled against Nairobi proper. These bikes will be the start of training for some young mechanics and bike sales. Eco Tourism Kenya received 10 bikes for working class staff members to kick start their bike rental enterprise.

Hellen Gelband with Bramwel Simiyu and WoA's Prisca Oluoch
BfW Board Member Hellen Gelband has been over to see the program in person and help get BfW's partnership with WoA rolling. She brought us some of the above findings and hopes to bring home more stories of how your donated bikes are bringing dreams to remote pockets of Africa. We hope to hear more stories from her journeys as our bikes change lives two wheels at a time.

You can read more about Wheels of Africa by simply following our blog or joining us on facebook!

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