Bikes for the World

Friday, June 3, 2016

From Wheels To Meals

Supporting diverse programs is one of the ways Bikes for the World is able to affect so many lives around the world in a multitude of ways. Our bike project provides affordable transportation, creates jobs, encourages education, and supports adult and youth programs beyond just bikes.

One of our main criteria for partners receiving bikes is that the project or organization is sustainable. Because our donated bikes are shipped 'as is' many of them are in need of repair and/or parts when they arrive. A majority of our partner organizations provide training and actual mechanic jobs to disadvantaged community members who fix and maintain these donated bikes, creating jobs to help support their families.

Bikes are then sold at a low cost to residents within the community who are in need of valuable transportation. Money generated through the program helps support the mechanics and project. More often than not, the surplus revenue is reinvested in the organization which in turn benefits the entire community.

In Barbados, our bike program is helping to support many aspects of Pinelands Creative Workshop. Funds generated through the bike project have helped offset administrative and program costs within the organization. PCW itself focuses on positive change within the community of Pinelands. Programs focused on the arts such as theatre, dance and music provide an educational, creative outlet for youth after school. Additionally, PCW offers career training, professional and undergraduate education, and general support to its struggling neighbors.

Sophia Greaves-Broome, Special Projects Director with the Marcus Garvey Resource and Development Centre (MGRDC) the Training Arm of the PCW states, “The bicycle project has allowed the MGRDC to deliver quality and relevant programs at the community level responding to expressed needs of over 3000 residents who can be categorized as either unemployed, underemployed, unskilled, vulnerable and/or living in poverty.  Furthermore the injection of support has added considerable social value to the community and the empowerment of beneficiaries."

One such program supported through the bike project in Barbados is the Meals on Wheels program, which provides meals to elderly, shut-ins, and disabled individuals in and around the Pine. With funds generated by bicycle sales, PCW is able to pay cooks, purchase disposable food containers, and contribute to the overall cost of running the vehicles to collect and provide food.

Shelly Durant-Forde, Financial Manager of PCW had this to say, “While funding is received through other projects the bicycle project is the only project that has been consistent and dependable . Many days we have been able to provide lunch, bus-fare, gas, school books or some small contributions to persons in the community who had nowhere else to turn but the doors of the Workshop.  Without the bicycle project this would be impossible."

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