The bicycle is a perfect machine. The mobility it provides allows a rider to cover distances far greater than someone on foot. It’s durability allows a bicycle to haul many times it’s weight in order to transport items. It’s efficiency allows a rider to utilize a bicycle’s benefits with the only energy source being the rider’s legs.
These basic fundamentals are why programs such as Bicycles Against Poverty, Qhubeka, and World Bicycle Relief have proven so successful for the communities they serve. For many living in the developing world, walking is the primary mode of transportation. Introducing bicycles to those living in these areas changes lives for the better.
The Big Three
Education is the number one reason to provide bicycles to developing countries. Children living in rural areas who have to walk long distances to attend school are less likely to make the journey. According to World Bicycle Relief not only does attendance increase with a bicycle, so does academic performance. The importance of an education to children living in rural areas of developing nations cannot be overstated. This is why providing these children with a bicycle is so important.
Healthcare is a close second to education when it comes to the importance of providing bicycles to the developing world. Healthcare facilities can be out of reach for someone having to walk many miles in order to get help. A bicycle provides much needed transportation to these facilities. For those providing care, they can reach more patients more often if they can have a bike. This leads to more access to healthcare, which in turn leads to healthier communities.
Economic development is provided on the wheels of a bicycle as well. A bike grants access to markets that may be out of reach by foot. At these markets farmers and entrepreneurs can sell their goods as means a better life for their families. The bicycle allows them to not only cover more distance, but haul greater loads. The cargo capacity of a bike far outweighs the amount a person can carry on their own. This carries over to clean water as well, as sometimes a water source may be far outside of a village.
Of the three programs mentioned, none of them simply gives bikes away. They all understand the impact a bicycle can make, but also realize the recipient needs to take ownership of their future. Qhubeka and World Bicycle Relief offer learn-to-earn and work-to-earn programs.
Bicycles Against Poverty offers a financing plan. Participants are given a year to pay for the full cost of a bicycle after providing a 15% down payment. This not only provides much needed transportation, but also teaches the fundamentals of basic finance.
You can read more details on each of the respective program’s websites. We at EB Cycling Law are so passionate about the work of Bicycles Against Poverty that we support them through donations. All of these companies are doing incredible work to better the lives of those living in rural communities in the developing world. Children are given a brighter future. Adults are granted transportation and a way to build their businesses. Healthcare is more readily available. They are making the world a little bit better one bicycle at a time. Stay safe out there, donate if you can, and keep the rubber side down!