Bikes for the World

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bike To Work

Don Marco with his BfW bike
Imagine riding your bike to work EVERY day. No pit stops, no fanfare, no happy hour after work. Today was Bike To Work Day, and although many people in DC do ride every day, it's not the only quick, inexpensive way to get around. We have Metro, buses, fact, everything is so tightly packed in the city you can often just walk.

Not so in many of the areas of the world. Getting to work and school is often a time consuming, expensive excursion. Many people walk several hours just to get to work. In fact, some of them live so far from their jobs they often spend the night away from their families just to save time.
Aisha Nakibuka
Some of our beneficiaries use their bikes to get to and from work faster allowing for more time at home with their children. Other families are able to use their bikes for work, getting them to more customers or enabling them to carry more product greater distances, increasing the amount of money they are able to bring home.

The alternative means of transportation is often walking. With the use of a bicycle health care workers are able to see more patients. Teachers can stay later at school to help students with work when they have a bike to get them home faster.

Marco Vinicio (don Marco) sells ice cream and frituras (fried snacks). Before he had a bicycle he could only reach a few construction sites making very little money. When he bought a bicycle from our International partner FINCA Costa Rica he was able to travel greater distances, increasing his sales immediately. Aisha Nakibuka saw similar results in Uganda. Aisha has a honey and wax business, but had a difficult time delivering the honey fast enough to keep it fresh. When she bought a bicycle she saw her monthly income almost double.

You only have to see the pictures to see how a bike can change a life almost immediately overseas. Whether it is used for transportation to and from work, during the work day, or even as a method to carry more stuff...the bicycle is a powerful tool empowering communities.

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