Chetto project starting soon
We are happy to announce that training for our latest bicycle shop project will begin in November 2014. The shop, at the village of Chetto in Namibia’s Zambezi region, will be run by members of the local San community. The team are all HIV/AIDS home based care volunteers under the guidance of Catholic AIDS Action. We expect the shop to have a huge impact in the local community.
Namibia’s San are among Namibia’s most disadvantaged people. They face huge barriers in accessing services, as their communities are usually located long distances from service centres. San educational attainment is among the lowest of any group in Namibia. The new bicycle shop will help local people to reach vital services, children to get to school, and profits will support local orphans and vulnerable children.
The shop will be implemented in partnership with UK bicycle charity Re-Cycle, which has already shipped 400 bicycles to get the project started.
First bike shops in Madagascar and Kenya
BEN Namibia’s successful community bicycle shop model has grown to 32 outlets here, and is now being adopted in new countries. We’re happy to report that with our support, our partners Transaid have delivered the first two new bike shop projects in Madagascar, after team members toured Namibia to learn from our experiences.
BEN Namibia’s Michael Linke has visited Madagascar three times to advise on delivering bicycles to healthcare volunteers and the establishment of bicycle shops. The delivery of the first two shops is a significant milestone, and there are already plans for more, which will be run by healthcare volunteers.
A second visit to Kenya in August will help our local partner, Wheels of Africa, to develop their own network of partner bicycle shops, with the first project having opened recently in the Kibera slum.
Recognition from Financial Times
BEN Namibia has been ‘highly commended’ in the Financial Times’ Urban Ingenuity Awards, announced in New York. The awards recognise excellence in providing solutions for urban issues, and received entries from 44 countries. We were proud to share the stage with the overall winner, Sanergy, another African entrant.