This video by Flavio Chan sums up what we do. After be sure to scroll down for more details of who we are and what we are doing.
Bicycles for Humanity is a grassroots movement that provides a bike recycling service. We take the bikes and get them in the hands of people who need them in Calgary and developing nations. In these countries a bicycle is used to carry every load imaginable: people, livestock, water, fuel, you name it is it is being hauled with a bike. In North America millions of usable bikes are tossed into our landfills. We provide these bikes with a second life by empowering people with mobility.
Beyond simply giving out bikes we work with local NGO's in the developing nations to establish a Bicycle Empowerment Centre (BEC). Essentially, the shipping container filled with bikes gets transformed into a local bike shop. The team receives training in bike mechanics and small business skills. As the proverb says, 'give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime'.
Since 2007 we have shipped 15 containers of bikes with an average of 400 bikes pre shipment. Since 2013 we have collected over 1000 bikes a year. As a result most years we have been able to make two shipments a year. The remainder of the bikes support bike programs here in Calgary. Currently our primary source of bikes is from the Spyhill Landfill.
Since 2015 we have sent 4 container of bikes in partnership with Calgary based Daraja Foundation and Zanzibar Learning 4 Life. The first 3 containers supported a BEC run by students at Zanzibar Learning 4 Life. The last one, which arrived in the winter of 2020, is establishing a new BEC with Daraja Foundation at their Flow House.
Since 2015 we have shipped 3 containers of bikes to Africycle. This Canadian base nonprofit has several shops in the community of Zomba. Our shipments resupply these shops with more inventory. Additionally, in two of the containers we have included water treatment equipment for the Calgary based Malawi Water Project.
Over the years we have built partnership with Calgary NGO's that require bikes for their own programs. Long time partnership have formed with Hull Child Services, Kiwanis Club, Two Wheeled View and every year we have other groups pop up such as supporting providing bikes to Syrian Refugees, Preschoolers with Calgary Aboriginal Head Start or the U of C Bike Root.
Furthermore we have been supported by great volunteers and businesses here in Calgary. We have benefitted from several student lead initiatives to organize bikes drives and fundraiser. We have been part of many community clean up events offering bike collection. We have been supported by terrific small business in particular BikeBike Bike Shop and Bow Cycle and Sport both of who have always assisted when asked.
We sent four containers of bikes to Uganda with the support of Paul Sherwin, Two containers to South Africa, one to Mexico and one to Fort Smith, NWT.