The purpose of this section is to provide anyone interested in starting a Bicycles for Humanity Chapter a look at the different models and partnerships we have in Africa and other places in the developing world.
Bicycles for Humanity was founded to initially help Michael Linke, founder of BEN Namibia, bennamibia.org solve the problem of getting bicycles to aids workers in Namibia. Today, many of our chapters continue to support this program and partnership model. Initially, chapters covered the cost of the container and transport to the closest African port and Michael and BEN looked for donors to cover the in country shipping and related tax’s. This model is very effective and works, but as our movement grew, chapters began to explore many different models, depending on their skills and personal interests. We encourage all chapters to explore and find the partnerships and relationships that best fit their needs and goals. Many of our chapters, B4H Atlanta, B4H Ottawa, B4H Thunder Bay have supported Michael and the BEN model for 10 years.
As we grew as a movement, many who founded chapters, had close and personal ties to some part of Africa and wanted to support communities where they knew people. Our Globally Supported Community program grew from this, where today strong B4H trams are on the ground managing the projects. Karamoja, Uganda, Northern Namibia, Lesotho and South Africa fit this model. Here, B4H chapters raise all the funds to cover the cost of getting the containers right to the people. Some Chapters like B4H Seattle that works in South Africa have funds to cover the shipping for chapters that just want to collect and send the bikes, where other chapters cover the entire cost.
As we grew, some chapters found that they were very good at just collecting bikes and did not have the skills to raise funds to cover shipping. Many of our chapters began to partner with David Peckham and the terrific groups he founded, Village Bicycle Project, villagebicycleproject.
In summary, we encourage you to find the partnership and relationships that best fit your teams skills and needs.
If you are looking to start a new bike program and deliver a BEC to a new community, go for it, just remember, that you are responsible to cover the costs to the final destination.
If you want to collect bikes and maybe just cover the cost of shipping to Africa, than we encourage you to look into the B4H Globally Supported Community Program and partner with a team in Africa.
If you are looking to just collect bikes and maybe do not have the ability to collect funds, than a partnership with BEN or Village Bicycle Project might be more to your liking. At our heart, we are a movement and we believe that a bicycle can and does make a difference. In 10 years, our chapter led model has delivered over 100,000 bicycles to 11 African countries, Central America and Mexico. 10 million bicycles a year end up in landfills in the developed world, we encourage you to start a chapter and help save these bikes and give them a chance to help others in need of the gift of mobility