Bikes for the World

Monday, June 17, 2013

Along For The Ride

Back in March we told you about a local book shipment heading to Cameroon that was sponsored by Bikes for the World partner Parole Rotary. We got an invitation to come along for the ride, so to speak, when they made space in their container for a few of our bikes. Well, they have arrived!

Here is a short update on their arrival:
The 30 bikes we loaded earlier this year in Annapolis--in conjunction with the Parole Rotary Club’s Books for International Goodwill--have arrived in Cameroon, a west African nation located between Nigeria and Gabon!!  These bikes—which came from DC area donations as well as drop-offs at Bike Doctor, an Arnold MD based bicycle retailer--were “flattened” (prepped) and fitted by BfW operations manager Nick Colombo and executive director Keith Oberg in the narrow spaces around and on top of eight 4’ x 4’ x 6’ pallets of donated books inside a 20’ sea container.

This donation is a pilot effort to promote access to school by young people in northwestern Cameroon.  Given the frequent challenges in clearing bicycles through Customs in African countries, we wanted to “test the waters” in this new country and see how expensive the process would be, and how capable our local partner, the Cameroon Education Foundation, would be.

The photos (above) confirm that the container has been unloaded in Cameroon.  The next step is to learn how the bikes are distributed, how suitable they are, and what their impact will be.  We expect feedback.  Stay tuned. 

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