Harnessing the power of two wheels

In rural parts of the developing world, much of the time the biggest problem is distance. The distance between home and the market, the distance to school, and the distance health care professionals have to travel to treat their patients. Bicycles are a cheap cost-effective way to cut travel time and improve mobility for anyone in the rural, developing world. Three nonprofits, World Bicycle Relief, Zambikes, and Bicycles For Humanity are all working toward a common goal: improve the mobility of people living in rural parts of the developing world.
F.K. Day, Executive Vice President of the SRAM CORPORATION, started the World Bicycle Relief in 2005 as a way to help Sri Lankan communities recover in the wake of the Indian Ocean Tsunami. After distributing 24,000 bikes in Sri Lanka they set their sights on rural sub-Saharan Africa to see how they make a difference. World Bicycle Relief is a donation based nonprofit and has distributed more than 125,000 bicycles across Africa. A $25 donation provides a cyclist with a new wheel set, a $50 donation will provide a bicycle mechanic with tools, and a $134 donation will provide someone with a whole bicycle. The World Bicycle Relief is on the ground in 16 African countries and hopes to expand that number in the coming years.
Another obstacle faced in the rural developing world is how to transport sick or injured people from their rural homes to hospitals. Many times, the sick or injured are transported to the hospital via wheelbarrow, on the back of a bicycle, or in the arms of a loved one. These modes of transport can be very uncomfortable, slow, and even dangerous. Zambikes, another African based nonprofit that was originally conceived to provide a service similar to that of the World Bicycle Relief, came up with an innovative solution to the problem of transporting the sick and injured: The Zambulance. A Zambulance is essentially a trailer bed that connects to the back of a bicycle that sick or injured patients can lie on while they’re being transported to their health care professional. A step in the right direction, iIt’s a much safer, more accessible, and more effective way of transporting the sick and injured over bumpy roads and through jungles to the hospital.
Another bicycle centric nonprofit, Bicycles For Humanity, is concerned with one thing: empowering Africans through the gift of transportation. Bicycles For Humanity was started in 2005 in British Columbia by husband and wife team Pat and Brenda Montani. What initially began as a modest one-time project to send a container of bicycles to Africa, quickly grew into a full blown grassroots movement that spread not just to other parts of Canada, but internationally, with 35 chapters open in 5 countries including Australia and Europe. To date, Bicycles For Humanity has sent more than 45,000 bikes to Africa, and in 2013 hopes to send another 30,000.
Bicycles are a green, cost-effective way of giving residents of rural communities in the developing world the transportation they need to accomplish the daily tasks many westerners take for granted. World Bicycle Relief, Zambikes, and Bicycles For Humanity are all donation-based organizations. Anyone can easily help by donating money to their organization, giving a used bicycle to Bicycles For Humanity, or starting their own Bicycles For Humanity chapter.
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Harnessing the power of two wheels

In rural parts of the developing world, much of the time the biggest problem is distance. The distance between home and the market, the distance to school, and the distance health care professionals have to travel to treat their patients. Bicycles are a cheap cost-effective way to cut travel time and improve mobility for anyone in the rural, developing world. Three nonprofits, World Bicycle Relief, Zambikes, and Bicycles For Humanity are all working toward a common goal: improve the mobility of people living in rural parts of the developing world.
F.K. Day, Executive Vice President of the SRAM CORPORATION, started the World Bicycle Relief in 2005 as a way to help Sri Lankan communities recover in the wake of the Indian Ocean Tsunami. After distributing 24,000 bikes in Sri Lanka they set their sights on rural sub-Saharan Africa to see how they make a difference. World Bicycle Relief is a donation based nonprofit and has distributed more than 125,000 bicycles across Africa. A $25 donation provides a cyclist with a new wheel set, a $50 donation will provide a bicycle mechanic with tools, and a $134 donation will provide someone with a whole bicycle. The World Bicycle Relief is on the ground in 16 African countries and hopes to expand that number in the coming years.
Another obstacle faced in the rural developing world is how to transport sick or injured people from their rural homes to hospitals. Many times, the sick or injured are transported to the hospital via wheelbarrow, on the back of a bicycle, or in the arms of a loved one. These modes of transport can be very uncomfortable, slow, and even dangerous. Zambikes, another African based nonprofit that was originally conceived to provide a service similar to that of the World Bicycle Relief, came up with an innovative solution to the problem of transporting the sick and injured: The Zambulance. A Zambulance is essentially a trailer bed that connects to the back of a bicycle that sick or injured patients can lie on while they’re being transported to their health care professional. A step in the right direction, iIt’s a much safer, more accessible, and more effective way of transporting the sick and injured over bumpy roads and through jungles to the hospital.
Another bicycle centric nonprofit, Bicycles For Humanity, is concerned with one thing: empowering Africans through the gift of transportation. Bicycles For Humanity was started in 2005 in British Columbia by husband and wife team Pat and Brenda Montani. What initially began as a modest one-time project to send a container of bicycles to Africa, quickly grew into a full blown grassroots movement that spread not just to other parts of Canada, but internationally, with 35 chapters open in 5 countries including Australia and Europe. To date, Bicycles For Humanity has sent more than 45,000 bikes to Africa, and in 2013 hopes to send another 30,000.
Bicycles are a green, cost-effective way of giving residents of rural communities in the developing world the transportation they need to accomplish the daily tasks many westerners take for granted. World Bicycle Relief, Zambikes, and Bicycles For Humanity are all donation-based organizations. Anyone can easily help by donating money to their organization, giving a used bicycle to Bicycles For Humanity, or starting their own Bicycles For Humanity chapter.
Did you get your free issue of the Intelligent Optimist?  Click here for a free download.

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