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.
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.]

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

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.

Elasto is one of our favourite Community Health Workers.  He works for Africycle Malawi and was the leader of 6 of our repair and maintenance workshops!

BBC reports:
"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." 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8320781.stm

A community distribution ceremony is always a joyous occasion, filled with laughter, dancing, songs and stories. Elders, community health workers, volunteers and community members all gather to welcome the new bikes into their lives.

Contracts were signed at the end of the distribution ceremonies in different areas. All the Community Health Volunteers agreed to use the bike for their work and not personal use. Community Health Volunteers rotate the bike amongst the other volunteers in their community-based organization on an agreed upon schedule. Logbooks are used to record the usage. The chairperson of the community based organization is responsible for the safe keeping of the bike and CareCar when it is not in use.

Here’s how the CareCar Bike Ambulance works! 

Providing a bicycle or bicycle ambulance to a Community Health Worker (CHW) allows them to reach up to 5 times as many patients, reach remote communities with patient support and HIV/AIDS prevention education, and do their work more efficiently and with greater impact. 400 bikes and 100 bicycle ambulances will allow our network of CHWs in Malawi to reach an estimated 15,000 additional people with lifesaving medication, prevention education and additional support services.

Just $150 purchases a reliable, durable bike for a Community Healthcare Worker in Malawi. $400 is enough to purchase a bicycle ambulance. 

Here’s some more information the CareCar: http://www.sakaramenta.com/CareCar_Bicycle_Ambulance.html

 

In Malawi, the average distance to a health centre in rural areas is 15 km.

Most have to walk, which can be a matter of life or death. 

Here’s a lil clip about what BWB is all about