Bikes for the World

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Kennedy Center Sends Bikes To Africa

Volunteers from Sasha Bruce help load Kona bike
We recently told you about a unique bike donation coming in through partner bike shop Race Pace in Columbia. 10 brand new Kona Africa bikes were purchased and donated by a part time mechanic; these bikes are currently on their way to partner program Wheels of Africa in Kenya.

We also told you this wasn't the first time this donor generously donated new bikes. A few years ago Norm donated several one speed versions of this Africa Bike. You can read more about this year's donation on our blog OR watch the video.

Muwonge Jalia
Muwonge Jalia received one of those bikes Norm donated last time. She is a widow with 5 children. She is also a member of the Nakyesa Widows and AIDS patients farmers groups in the Kayunga district.

Most of the farmers in the Kayunga district borrow Jalia's bicycle to travel to the markets, health centers, and for personal errands. The proud owners of these new bikes shipped by Bikes for the World refused to remove the cardboard packing from the frames in an effort to keep them unscratched and protected even as they started using them for work.

 If you watched the video you heard Norm ask about other people donating NEW bikes and saw another one that came in through Spokes Etc in Virginia.

Then we remembered another unique donation that came in a couple years ago after the maximum India program at the Kennedy Center.

28 bikes were donated to BfW from the Kennedy Center
We were contacted by the Kennedy Center as their international festival featuring India was winding down. They had 28 sturdy Indian made bicycles on display during this festival that celebrated Indian culture and art forms. They were interested in donating all the bikes to Bikes for the World.

There were some adult tricycles and bicycles with heavy duty racks you see to the left. Here the bikes are waiting at our Lorton facility before being shipped to Uganda fall 2011.

Fred Musunda
Well late last year we got this story back from Uganda about Fred Musunda, the owner of a brand new Atlas bike (indeed, the same one you may have seen on display at the Kennedy Center!)

In Uganda, milk plays an important role in food security and the fight against malnutrition.  Fred Musunda collects milk from rural farmers in Matugga (about 15km from the city) and transports it to the urban markets and individual households.

Farmers in rural areas have turned to collectors with bicycles to transport the milk and ghee (butter) they produce. Fred bought a bicycle through the Prisoners Support Organisation to help him deliver fresh milk and ghee to his customers.
Fred bought a new Atlas from PSO

Unfortunately his Avon bicycle (seen above) was worn out, limiting how much milk he could transport to his customers. After visiting the PSO Bike Center Fred was able to purchase this brand new Atlas bike (seen left) with a rack big enough to handle the 40 litre containers of milk he had become accustomed to carrying.

He noted that since it was a rainy season, the milk production was high and yet the roads in Matugga were impassable and only bicycle riders could access farmers. Bicycles play a big role in the milk collection industry since most roads out of town are not easily accessible by motor-vehicles. There are about 35 milk collectors in this area who sell locally produced raw milk and dairy products to theurban markets/trading centers. 

This Atlas bike is one of the very same bikes seen above at Lorton and donated by the Kennedy Center in 2011.  And although Keith, Phil, Yvette, or Nick (all of whom helped pick up (literally) these bikes from DC and made sure they made it in the container for Uganda) will tell you these bikes weighed a ton, Fred Musunda will tell you it's perfect! He is the envy of other milk collectors in the area who all want a similar bike to his. He also noted that his weekly profits doubled after purchasing his new bike.

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