'Africycle' bike donation program to help thousands ride in Malawi
Published Saturday, April 18, 2015 7:01PM EDT
Hundreds of bikes are being organized and sorted so they can be shipped to Malawi to help with an ongoing transportation problem.
In Malawi, the majority of the population lives in rural areas. Nearly half its citizens use bicycles as their primary method of transportation.
Almost everybody else travels by foot, making it difficult to access necessities like water and health care.
Three times per year, Africycle ships a container to Malawi with up to 500 bikes. In order to ship the maximum amount inside each container, the bikes are stacked in three layers and are partially dissembled.
Working out of a barn in Uxbridge, Ont., program co-ordinator Matthew Williams organizes and sorts the bikes, making it possible for them to be shipped over to Africa.
“It feels great knowing that someone’s going to get a quality product, that’s really going to help out their life,” says Williams.
“At the end of the day it is pretty satisfying.”
To date, the charity has shipped more than 10,000 bikes to Malawi, believing that improving mobility can greatly reduce poverty.
Williams says that this program gives people in Malawi “freedom, work, water and access to markets.”
“It makes a huge difference,” he adds.
Africycle is holding its spring bike drive across the GTA on April 25. For information about drop-off locations near you, go to Africycle.org.
The charity also accepts financial contributions to help offset the shipping costs.