Turn your rusty cast-off bike into a poverty fighter

the school run

the school run

Do you have bicycle in your basement that you are not using? Or an old bike wheel or pedals gathering cobwebs in a shed?  They could be reconditioned and provide vital transport or be used in water pumps, grinders and shellers.

Charities on both sides of the Atlantic are collecting old cycles now.  The UK-based Re-Cycle's mission is to collect secondhand bicycles and ship them to Africa. Their partners distribute bikes and teach riders the skills to repair and maintain them. Their bikes also help health/AIDS workers reach remote villages and even provide an ambulance service in remote Namibia.

Transport and development go hand-in-hand. Virtually everything traded, must be transported, and almost everyone needs wheels to get to work or school. Simple, affordable transport generates wealth in developing countries, as well as saving lots of time and back-breaking work.

In Britain, millions of bikes are thrown away or lie unused in sheds, whilst many people in Africa have no access to transport of any kind. Walking can take up to four hours per day (collecting water, or walking to school). The burden can cripple a family, hampering work and education opportunities. A bicycle cuts travel time to a fraction, even carrying passengers and heavy loads. Bikes give families the extra time to earn, learn and enjoy life.  See www.re-cycle.org/ for more information.

In the USA and Canada, a  number of organisations are using cast-off bikes from the to fashion a range of bicimaquinas (pedal powered machines) that are helping pull Guatemalan subsistence farmers out of poverty. That rusty Huffy you haven't taken out in years could have a second life as a water pump, grinder, or nut sheller. In fact, it could help these folks grind 3,000 pounds of corn a day.

To find out more see: www.good.is/post/how-to-turn-your-rusty-cast-off-ten-speed-into-a-global-poverty-fighter/

Share this story