Bikes for the World

Monday, February 3, 2014

Wheels d'Afrique

Bikes for the World has over a dozen beneficiary partners worldwide. Each one of these programs we support is unique in how the bikes are helping their communities. We support a micro-finance project, school projects, community led bike shops, welding training programs, the list goes on and on.

In Kenya, we work with an organization known as Wheels of Africa. This project alone supports health related organizations, youth projects focused on keeping students in school, and locally owned and operated bike shops.

Some of the bikes donated by Bikes for the World are used in the partnership between Wheels of Africa (WOA) and TDA Global Cycling (TDA). TDA is a unique cycling experience that takes place in various locations across the globe. Cycling clients sign up for bike tours that travel through many struggling communities. TDA has made it their mission to give back to these communities by donating a bicycle for every rider on the tour.

The very areas the TDA pedals through are the same areas the Foundation strives to change. Bikes are typically donated to health care and community development workers.

In Kenya one such group is Maji Mazuri International. Maji Mazuri  was founded in 1984 to help women and children in the Mathare Valley.  Through WOA (and BfW) TDA donated bikes to the Mathare Youth Project last year. This project empowers young people from Mathare by training them in different technical skills.

Many students are sent to colleges far from their homes making the time and financial burdens of commuting too hard on their families. By providing a bicycle to these students, the Mathare Youth Project is killing two birds with one bike, so to speak.

"It (the bike) has brought about responsibility to me, to take care of it. It has cut on my fares and the distance I used to walk and travel. My younger brother also uses it to school,"
George Oluoch Okoth, Mathare Youth Chairperson.

The Tour d'Afrique bike tours are generating awareness and change to everyone touched by the ride.

"The cornerstone of social and economic development is awareness. The persons who participated in the Mathare Valley Tour have undoubtedly found themselves changed. While the living conditions that they witnessed in the slum are, to say the least, daunting, it is our hope that they were also touched by the hope and dignity that the residents of Mathare Valley gain from participation in the Micro Finance, Headstart and Youth Group projects. As the representatives of Tour d’Afrique met various members of the aforementioned projects, they can rest assured that that extension of interest and friendship further encourages those members," Wanjiku Kironyo, the Director of Maji Mazuri International in Nairobi, Kenya

...We will continue this series of change in Kenya through Bikes for the World partner Wheels of Africa over the next week on our blog. We will introduce another school group, medical projects, and a bike shop owner all benefiting from bikes donated through the TDA Foundation...

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