Bikes Without Borders

Bikes Without Borders is a Toronto-based charitable organization that uses bikes as a tool for development and social change, addressing issues of poverty, education and healthcare. Together we can change the world, one bike at a time... VISIT US
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Thomas and Alex are two friends from Lethbridge, Alberta who have travelled together to places such as Stockholm, Helsinki, Berlin, and even Fort Macleod. They enjoy tasteful music, guitar playing, cycling, and a good home-cooked breakfast. Thomas holds a degree in Environmental Science, and is currently working on his MSc in Geography at McGill University. Alex holds a degree in Political Science and is currently considering law school.

When Thomas and Alex decided to move to Montreal they thought, “why not cycle?”
When they decided to ride bikes, they thought “why not raise some money for a good cause?” They chose Bikes Without Borders because it is a Canadian non-profit that aims to address issues of  both social and environmental justice by implementing simple, yet progressive ideas.
Their goal is to bike approximately, 2500 km to Montreal. Please donate and help them reach their goal!
Happy trails, guys!

They are hoping to raise $5,000 by 09/01/12. So far they have raised $70.

Please help them reach their goal by contributing to this very worthy cause. Even $10 can go a long way. Here are some suggested donation amounts:
  • $150 buys a new bike for a Community Health Worker in Malawi
  • $450 buys a new CareCar bike ambulance (wheeled stretcher that attaches to a bike) for a Community Health Organization
  • $50 buys a set of replacement tires for a Community Health Worker.

"We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel" - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Happy Teacher’s Day to all the educators, coaches and mentors out there! Thank you for all the guidance and support! 

[Community Health Volunteers learn about the function of the sun and rain covers on the CareCar. The innovative design is preferred by Malawians because it gives a view of the skyline and symbolizes hope. It also makes sick patients less susceptible to nausea. The CareCar is equipped with a removable stretcher to carry the patient when needed. All the participants in our research said they thought the CareCar was a very useful form of transport. Although there are few other options of emergency transport for rural Malawians, the most commonly used method is walking by foot on average 15km, borrowing a bike, or being carried on a makeshift stretcher.]

Not sure what to get for mom?  Check out the awesome deals and coupons on gifts bikeswithoutborders.we-care.com!

We at Bikes Without Borders have a trusted partnership with We-Care.com. Your purchase through this site helps us use bikes as tools for development in marginalized communities.

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Every mother deserves a happy and healthy life, and we at Bikes Without Borders are dedicated to the cause of maternal health and safe childbirth.  

  • Around the world, one woman dies every minute during childbirth, yet almost all of these deaths are preventable. 
  • Malawi has one of the highest maternal death rates in the world. In 2001, the UN set a goal to decrease maternal mortality by 75% by 2015, but it is nowhere near meeting that target.

There are 3 main causes in the delay of healthcare:

  1. Delay in deciding to seek medical care, due lack of access to proper transportation as well as cultural perspectives on pregnancy (a taboo topic).
  2. Delay in reaching a healthcare facility mainly related to transport and mobility issues.
  3. Delay in seeking care due to quality of healthcare received when facility is reached.

By providing bicycles and bicycle ambulances to marginalized communities in Malawi, community healthcare workers and volunteers are able to significantly increase their efficiency in dispensing healthcare.

Health Centres give priority to patients who arrive on the bicycle-ambulance since they are well informed about the emergency nature of its use. Rural Malawians are more likely to seek medical care when there is access to transportation because there is less fear of being a burden upon their family (do not need to be carried by foot on a makeshift stretcher for 15km).

»  Support our project and you would be literally saving the life of a mother and her child this Mother’s Day  «

Bikes Without Borders has partnered with YONECO to help strengthen global connections to local Malawian communities. Partnering with YONECO allows resources (access to information, pharmaceuticals, transportation, etc.) to be maximized with the establishment of effective working relationships by YONECO. 

Goal: To increase the health of Malawians and to contribute towards the reduction of the spread of HIV infection, mitigating the impact of AIDS to promote quality care for the infected and infected.

Purpose: To promote self-seliance in material and psychological support, empowering and active participation of care givers, orphans and vulnerable children, the aged and other vulnerable groups in reducing the spread of HIV infection and mitigating the impact of AIDS.

Objectives: 
• To promote quality care within the home setting
• To enhance communities commitment to responding to the needs of infected and affected
• To reduce stigma and discrimination for the affected and infected
• To develop effective monitoring and evaluation systems for the home-based care programme


(Kachulu Health Centre visit with Fresco, the Health Worker extraordinaire)

Strategies:
• Life skills development for the orphans, people living with AIDS, volunteers and care givers at community level.
• Comprehensive health education programme on HIV/AIDS issues and other related issues at community level.
• Screening for HIV/AIDS and TB
• Community care of people living with HIV/AIDS, old people, chronically ill, orphans and other vulnerable groups at local level


(HIV/AIDS workshop literature for Community Health Volunteers.)

VISIT US FOR MORE INFORMATION

Around the world, one woman dies every minute during childbirth, yet almost all of these deaths are preventable.  Malawi has one of the highest maternal death rates in the world.

In 2001, the UN set a goal to decrease maternal mortality by 75% by 2015, but it is nowhere near meeting that target.

Our Phase 2 in Malawi, will support Community Healthcare Volunteer Workers delivering vital health services. We will have an increased focus to address issues of maternal health, providing them with new bikes and providing community health organizations with bike ambulances (which CHWs can sign out and use as needed). 

In a country where a staggering number of women die in child birth, the BBC’s Karen Allen discovers one Malawian village where a novel solution – a bicycle ambulance – has apparently helped to wipe out the problem.” – BBC news

Information session for expecting mothers

How you can be part of the solution: 
1. Spread the word - tell your friends about the issues and the project so that there is more awareness in different communities and professional fields.
2. Brainstorm ideas - discuss possible solutions and share your ideas with friends, family & coworkers. Sharing knowledge helps start meaningful discussions in the community
3. Volunteer and attend BWB events - to be a part of something meaningful and meet like-minded people from different fields. Every volunteer makes a huge difference.
4. Donate, because funds are always needed - a replacement set of tires for a Community Health Worker in Malawi costs $50, a new bike for a CHW is $150, and a bike ambulance (wheeled stretcher that attaches to a bike) for a community in Malawi is $450

To know more about the Pedal Powered Hope Project visit http://bikeswithoutborders.org/international-programs

Sign up for the BWB newsletter, Like us on Facebook & Follow us on Twitter - keep in touch!

Bikes Without Borders is seeking bike related designs for a line of shirts to be sold at Mountain Equipment Coop, various publications, website development, etc.

Submit inquires or artwork to info@bikeswithoutborders.org
Deadline is February 1st, 2012 - Why not make use of holiday downtime to be a part of something wonderful and meaningful!
Artists’ profiles will be published on all media including shirt tags, website and promotional materials. It’ll be a great addition to your portfolio!
The BWB tshirt campaign aims to raise funds for the Pedal Powered Hope Project - to buy bike ambulances (CareCars), bikes and tires in Malawi, Africa, which helps Community Healthcare Volunteer Workers treat more patients more effectively.
It’s a great cause and hey, your work will be featured in a great international non-profit!
Are YOU up for the challenge?

Bike and CareCar distribution to a women’s group

Photos of Bikes Without Borders on We Heart It. http://weheartit.com/entry/18699430

#amillionmoms

Maternal Health:
"Malawi has one of the highest maternal mortality ratios (984 deaths per 100 000 live births) in the world.
The risks of pregnancy are indicated by the words used to describe a pregnant woman in the local Chichewa language: either pakati (between life and death) or matenda (sick). In Malawi, behaviour at the village level can contribute to maternal mortality, for example, most births and deaths of pregnant women happen at home, and some behaviours within the community hinder timely and appropriate care-seeking. Community Healthcare Volunteers (CHV) ensure that all pregnant mothers are recorded, monitored and encourage safe practices by advocating prenatal and antenatal care, with the provision of nutritional supplements when available. Generally pregnant mothers would not access a healthcare facility to give birth due to the distance from their home that could mean walking 15km. Many pregnant mothers in Malawi keep their pregnancy secret for fear of losing the child and being a burden upon their family if it is known this could affect their lifestyle. The role of the CHV is crucial since any information shared is confidential. A pregnant mother is far more likely to disclose information to a CHV on a home visit rather than walking 15km to a healthcare facility where someone from the community might wonder what the purpose of their visit is. The CareCar bike ambulance is an excellent way to increase maternal health by ensuring that all pregnant mothers have access to transportation to a health facility when needed. Advocating emergency usage of the CareCar increases the usage and creates a safer environment for mother and child.”

(source: Pedal Powered Hope Project Phase I Report by BWB Program Director Kristen Corbet)

Nyangu Vision spells out their objectives. They coordinate the efforts of over 20 community healthcare volunteers. Only 5 of the Community Health Volunteers have access to a bike. Home-based care efforts mean the Community Health Volunteers walk village-to-village delivering health care services and advocating healthy practices. Walking is fine but they prefer bikes. Nyangu Vision now has their first CareCar and are saving lives offering efficient emergency transport to a health centre.

A well thought out mission statement and vision. Nyangu Vision is a community based organization that needs bikes and CareCars to best delivery vital health care to their community. They are already doing the work and saving lives. They have asked us for bikes and CareCars so they can continue serving their community.

Community Health Volunteers learn about the function of the sun and rain covers on the CareCar. The innovative design is preferred by Malawians because it gives a view of the skyline and symbolizes hope. It also makes sick patients less susceptible to nausea. The CareCar is equipped with a removable stretcher to carry the patient when needed. All the participants in our research said they thought the CareCar was a very useful form of transport. Although there are few other options of emergency transport for rural Malawians, the most commonly used method is walking by foot on average 15km, borrowing a bike, or being carried on a makeshift stretcher.

This man was the first to test out the CareCar Bike Ambulance. He walked for 4 hours to come meet us.

We joked about how we like to walk. But there’s no joking when you have to walk to a heatlh care facility in the middle of the night when your wife is giving birth to your child and there are complications. 

Lack of emergency health care services and professionals within rural Malawian villages and spread of diseases are causing the communities to struggle to deal with sickness and provide for their families. There are 3 main causes in delay of health care:
1) Delay in deciding to seek medical care.
2) Delay in reaching a health care facility, mainly related to transport and mobility issues.
3) Delay in seeking care due to quality of health care received when facility is reached.

CareCars are an innovative, comfortable and dignified way to provide a vital service that local communities can maintain themselves.