The headquarters of World Bicycle Relief (WBR) is small and humble. The staff is united like a family. We toured the facility to see where the production happens. Our organization, Chooda, has been donating to WBR for several years. It is clear that our generous donations have made an impact.
WBR uses donations and sales to donate bicycles to kids in rural Africa. They train the mechanics to build, maintain, and ride the bike safely. Each mechanic has a school they serve. They are at the school every week taking care of the bicycles and checking in on the participants. The workers can stay the life of the program.
“With a Buffalo Bicycle student attendance increases up to 28%”
Our guide through the WBR headquarters. Photo by Argento Studios
The General Manager, Brian, tells us a story about a girl he ran into at the grocery store. She recognized him from the bike donation. The recipient had been gifted a bike from the program. The bike came at a time when she wasn’t sure she had the strength to continue going to school. Because of the bicycle, she was able to complete school and start a full-time job. She was so proud and was still using the bike. Every story we heard had a similar outcome.
In rural Africa, the modes of transport are ox and cart or bicycle. Photo by Argento Studios
A bike is the way to school, work, and so much more for someone in rural Africa. The rural roads are scattered with children running free and happy. The modes of transport are ox and cart and a bicycle. Bikes will be loaded with charcoal to sell, or the goods picked up from the local market and driven excessive miles to their prospective location. Bikes increase survival and allow for someone to travel long distances in shorter times. Children who live far from school face the danger of fatigue if walking so far. The donor program gives these children a future and opportunity to succeed.
The Chooda team had the opportunity to tour the headquarters and build bikes with the crew. In addition to building the bikes, it was a reminder we took as we rode 350 miles across Zambia. Each time we spotted a child or an adult on a bike we knew their life had been changed because of it.
A mechanic builds a wheel for the donor bike program.
Our guid through the headquarters
The mechanics work directly with the schools to teach mantinence and safety
Riders Tina and Pete work together to build the bike
Each bike is built by hand
The guys in the shop are hard workers
We went to WBR to build bikes for the program
Mechanics appreciate their craft
They put hard work and love into each bicycle
Riders Michael,and Alex watch on while mechanic Dennis teaches them proper techniques
This is a mechanic helping us put the bike together
The mechanics are skilled
Dennis builds a bike for the donaor program
The mechanics each have a role in building the bikes
Dennis has worked at WBR for alomost 9 years and plans to stay for a long time
The mechanics work as a team
The GM Brian and the CEO speak to us at the headquarters
The mechanics move up in senority and can get their own bike shop after years of dedication
This is World Bicycle Relief Headquarters
The bicycle parts come unassembled ready to be pieced together
This is the matinence room where the bikes are built and parked ready to be shipped
Rider Alex assisted Michale in the build
Bike Zambia is a 350+ bike ride across Africa with a mission to change the world. Bike Zambia is in its sixth year and has seen an incredible change in the communities they visit annually. When given access to a reliable mode of transport, a family is given access to education, the ability to acquire healthcare, and a tool to trade goods or services. A simple gift of a bicycle changes an impoverished family into an empowered one. Solid transportation has a socioeconomic impact and increases the overall quality of life. Wheels can strengthen a person’s world that has to work so hard every day just to survive.
“Zambia is one of Africa’s poorest countries with one of the highest rates of HIV infection. 1 in 8 adults have HIV infections and 64 percent of the total population lives below the poverty line, rising to 80 percent in rural areas. Life expectancy is just 58.1 years, however, this is a considerable increase from the 2012 life expectancy of 49.4 years, partly thanks to improved access to antiretroviral treatments.”
Participants of the ride raise $4000, all of which is given to 3 nonprofit beneficiaries. The riders handle their own transportation cost to and from Zambia. Chooda, lead by a Board of Directors that have united efforts to raise over $650,000 in five years for organizations working in HIV/AIDS, poverty, and women’s empowerment, organizes the ride.
“Chooda is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a vision of personal transformation and global social change. Chooda’s mission is to create transformative experiences for its participants while providing much-needed resources abroad. At Chooda, we believe that by advocating for social justice in the world and by contributing a part of ourselves in service to others, we evolve.”
The beneficiaries of the rider’s funds are:
- World Bicycle Relief (WBR) mobilizes people through the power of bicycles by helping people conquer the challenge of distance to access education, healthcare, get goods or offer services more easily.
- Grassroot Soccer-Zambia is an organization that uses the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilizes communities to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.
- Zambia Health Education and Communication Trust (ZHECT) fight HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases through a multifaceted approach, providing access to health services, education, and also working on community approaches through advocacy and capacity building.
The ride takes place from June 29—July 9, 2017 (arrival in Lusaka, Zambia on June 29th departure from Livingstone, Zambia). The ride includes a visit to World Bicycle Relief HQs in Lusaka to build Buffalo Bicycles and distribute to beneficiaries.
“Bike Zambia is the flagship program of 501(C)3 nonprofit Chooda and donations are tax-deductible. If you wish to donate by mail, please make donation checks payable to “Chooda” and mail to 5851 Morpeth St, Oakland, CA 94618. If you would like your donation to be credited to a specific rider, please be sure to note the rider’s name in the check memo line.”
The ride will have media support this year to document the journey, the community, the riders and the beneficiaries. It is an important story that the world should know. In efforts to support this Argento Studios will be a rider using multimedia production to create the story.
Donate Here To Support Argento Studios on the Ride