By participating in the Tilnar Cycle Challenge and choosing to support Re~Cycle you are helping change lives in Africa through bike re-use.
Established in 1997, Re~Cycle is the longest lived charity that rescues unwanted bikes from the UK and ships them to Africa, where local partners refurbish and distribute them to genuinely enhance lives. To date Re~Cycle has shipped over 74,000 bikes to their partner projects in Africa and every year prevent 165 tonnes of bike from a life of disuse.
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 income opportunities 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. Bikes are the perfect solution: they are low cost, environmentally friendly and incredibly versatile. They increase access to opportunities, whether they are economic, educational, social or personal. They connect workers with employment, students to schools, producers to users of goods and services, patients to healthcare, and everyone to family and friends.
- Some 70% of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa lives in rural areas (Africa Transport Policy Programme) with little or no transport links.
- A cyclist can cover 4 x more ground and can carry 5 x more load in weight than a person on foot.
- Research in Africa has shown that one bike can increase the household income of a poor family by as much as 35% (http://www.bicyclepotential.org/2009/04/quantitative-experiments.html)
- On average one bike is shared between six people in an African household – meaning your old bike could be making a world of difference to an entire family!
How it works
Re~Cycle works in partnership with 6 organisations across 6 different African countries, each one doing something inspiring and empowering with the bicycles they send them. Re~Cycle bikes support a variety of people all of whom are vulnerable in different ways; targeted beneficiaries include disabled people, street children, trafficked children, subsistence farmers, rural families and people whose lives can be improved through skills development and access to affordable transport.
All of their partners own and run bike social enterprises – this ensures that the bikes they provide can be distributed, repaired, maintained and used for as long as possible. Each month Re~Cycle send their partners bikes, spare parts and tools (for free) that can be sold for a fraction of market value via their bicycle social enterprise. Working in this way generates multiple outcomes:
- Affordable transport for the local community: New bike owner can access quality, affordable bikes and on-going repair services.
- Sustainable income: partners use the income from their bike social enterprises to fund work to help their beneficiaries.
- Local employment and skill development: Each partner employs local bike mechanics, some of which Re~Cycle has helped train.
By supporting Re~Cycle you’ll be helping support their work mobilising hundreds of thousands of people who lack access to affordable transport, empowering local communities and creating sustainable bicycle economies. For more information visit www.re-cycle.org