Chicago: World Bicycle Relief

Five years ago, Chicago businessman F.K. Day watched in horror the television footage of a tsunami devastating people's lives and livelihoods in Indonesia.  It was then that the co-founder of bicycle component company SRAM Corp. thought that getting bicycles to these folks may help their recovery efforts.

Fast forward, he spearheaded the building and distribution of 24,000 bicycles to victims in Sri Lanka which dramatically sped up their recovery back to independence. What F.K. thought would be a one time effort, turned into World Bicycle Relief (WBR), a not-for-profit organization that has distributed more than 50,000 bicycles to nine countries and provided life-changing results for 1.1 million people living in Sri Lanka and sub-Saharan Africa connecting them to much needed healthcare, education and economic opportunity.

What sets World Bicycle Relief apart is the unique and sustainable model WBR has pioneered that provides culturally-appropriate bicycles and components, specially designed to meet the particular geographic and cultural conditions of the areas it serves, along with the training necessary for locally-based assembly and maintenance. In addition, by partnering with other relief groups and using existing supply chains to procure and deliver bicycle frames and universally-compatible components, it streamlines operations and increases efficiency.
Bikes For Kids in Zambia To Get To School
The newest program is the Bikes for Education program. Today, many Zambian schoolchildren either don't go to school or will walk up to four hours to and from school and are at a higher risk of harassment, sexual abuse, poor nutrition, etc.

The Zambian Ministry of Education has identified the most in-need schools and children to which bicycles should be distributed.  The goal in one year is to distribute 50,000 bicycles and reach 1 million children, school administrators, and teachers. It is through education --especially to girls that are most at risk-- that the Zambian Ministry of Education feels they will begin to break the cycle of poverty and the spread of HIV/AIDS.
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