Melbourne, Australia info@bicyclesforhumanity.com

Bringing Together Global Bicycles For Humanity Chapters

Our global grassroots bicycle empowerment movement has begun working together more closely than ever. And it’s just the beginning!

Sparked by the recent and tragic passing of Pat Montani, founder of Bicycles for Humanity, volunteers from Bicycles for Humanity chapters around the world are coming together virtually to explore how to sustain the global organisation and work together to create an even bigger impact.

“This is something that we have been trying to instigate for many years, but it never eventuated”, said Andy Gild, co-founder of Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne. “We hope to develop closer connections between the different chapters, to share ideas and possibly even resources.”

Pat started Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne 15 years ago as a global grassroots movement that recognised the important role which mobility plays in empowering individuals and communities. Since then, 50 global chapters (some small, some larger) have been established under his watch, and the Bicycles for Humanity movement continues to gain momentum.

By unlocking the value of recycled bicycles, Bicycles for Humanity is mobilising volunteers and supporters across the globe to create change in communities in need in Africa, Mexico, Central America, Asia and Australia.

Andy is optimistic about the opportunities these collaborations offer: “By bringing together Bicycles for Humanity volunteers from across the globe, we can ensure Pat’s legacy is supported into the future and that his dream of empowering people and improving lives, through the simple bicycle, becomes the dream of many more”.

Volunteers plan to meet again towards the end of July. The focus will initially be on ensuring we develop capability to continue to mentor new chapters/interested parties, revising the global Bicycles for Humanity website and sharing fundraising ideas, which is the biggest challenge for all.

Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne Packing Day – July 2021

We have missed our face to face connections with our extended Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne family. So we are calling on all our volunteers to come to help at our next packing day.

Please join us for the second COVID Safe packing session of 2021. 

When: Sunday 11th July 2021, 10am – 3pm

In the event of bad weather, an alternative date will be the following Sunday.

Where: Parkview Secure Self Storage, 359 Lower Dandenong Road, Dingley Village.

Please park on the street. Access is via the small gate adjacent to the main gate which will be closed on the day. 

COVID Safety:

Social distancing to be observed, however as we are out in the open, masks are optional. Volunteers will be required to sign in with QR code located on the main whiteboard. Alternatively, a paper registration list will be available. 

How: Register your interest via email here and please let us know if you have any specific BBQ dietary requirements.

What: Thanks to Kwan for putting together a behind the scenes time lapse video of what the packing day entails through the magic of Vimeo:

With Heavy Hearts – Honouring Pat Montani founder of the Global Bicycles for Humanity Movement

It is with tremendous sadness we share news of the sudden passing of the founder of the Global Bicycles for Humanity Movement, Pat Montani, after a short battle with cancer.

Pat was an inspiration to so many individuals and communities, across many continents.

Pat started Bicycles for Humanity from his home town of Whistler, Canada, in order to mobilise health care workers. Along the way, the focus became about mobility in general and helping others gain a better life. 

Over the past 15 years, under Pat’s watch, 50 chapters of Bicycles for Humanity volunteers have collected bicycles and sent them to partners in Africa, Mexico, Central America and Asia.

This led to Pat’s more recent work supporting communities in Africa with healthcare, education and tourism, mainly through the aid of technology. 

Pat was a driving force behind the formation of Bicycles for Humanity, Melbourne and a constant guide over our now 13 year journey.

Pat believed passionately in a grassroots model where volunteer groups in the developed world partner with communities in the developing world. This is something for which we at Bicycles for Humanity, Melbourne continue to strive. 

Our challenge now will be to bring together the global Bicycles for Humanity chapters in order to ensure Pat’s legacy lives on.

Pat’s story is an inspiring one. You can read the article about Pat’s life in Pique News Magazine online to find out more about this wonderful humanitarian.

There was also a tribute article to Pat in The Namibian newspaper by Bicycle Empowerment Network (BEN) Namibia.

Our hearts and thoughts are with Pat’s wife Brenda, their family and friends at this difficult time. 

Rest in Peace.

Jamie Brindle of Bicycles for Humanity WA Finalist in Spirit of Volunteering Award

Jamie Brindle, Bicycles for Humanity Western Australia (WA) Founder and Operations Coordinator has been named a finalist in the 2021 Spirit of Volunteering Award, which is sponsored by ABC Radio and is part of the WA Volunteer of the Year Awards organised by Volunteering WA.  The winner will be announced during National Volunteer Week at the WA Volunteer of the Year Awards Dinner on 20th May.

Some supporters may have heard Jamie’s interview with Russell Woolf that was broadcast on ABC Radio Perth at 7:30am 29th March.

Jamie was one of the two original founders of Bicycles for Humanity WA in 2011. It was through Jamie’s enthusiasm and drive that Bicycles for Humanity WA was established and has thrived.  Jamie has shown exceptional dedication and hard work over the past 10 years to achieve all that has been achieved by Bicycles for Humanity WA.

The ABC’s Spirit of Volunteering Award is determined by popular vote – Please show your support for Jamie and Bicycles for Humanity WA by voting for him at:

https://www.abc.net.au/radio/perth/spirit-of-volunteering-wa/13271454

Voting closes Friday 23 April and is limited to one vote per person.

For more information about the WA Volunteer of the Year Awards dinner on the 20th May go to:

https://www.volunteeringwa.org.au/event/7764/wa-volunteer-of-the-year-awards

Applications Open for Volunteer Roles at Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne

Do you have experience in managing social media channels, marketing or running fundraising campaigns? Would you like to volunteer your time, experience and skills for a registered charity organisation based in Melbourne?

If so, Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne is currently looking to fill 2 volunteer roles in our Marketing and Communications team. Application are open now for the following volunteer roles:

Social Media Lead

This role is part of our volunteer operations team.

We have an exciting opportunity for a Social Media Lead to join our Marketing and Communications team to design and implement our social media strategy.

Your role will see you collaborating with all areas of the organisation to drive awareness, engagement and promote our brand on all our social channels.

Our social media, communications and marketing team is looking to build on our current reach. You will have the opportunity to expand our existing supporter base, reaching new areas and people for awareness, support and growth.

Your energy and enthusiasm to enable further growth, to achieve our targets, and work flexibly to support our committee will be highly regarded and warmly welcomed.

Bicycles for Humanity is located in Melbourne, VIC. Your volunteering location is flexible; work online from wherever you are.

Visit the SEEK Volunteer link for this role to find out more and apply: https://www.volunteer.com.au/volunteering/163075/social-media-lead

Marketing and Campaign Manager

This role is part of our management committee team.

We have an exciting opportunity for a Marketing and Campaign manager to join our Marketing and Communications team to design and implement on the Marketing and Campaign strategy.

Your role will see you collaborating with all areas of the organisation to drive awareness, increase engagement and support fundraising activities and events.

Our social media, communications and marketing team is looking to build on our current reach. You will have the opportunity to expand our existing supporter base, reaching new areas and people for awareness, support and growth.

Your energy and enthusiasm to enable further growth, to achieve our targets, and work flexibly to support our committee will be highly regarded and warmly welcomed. Depending on your skill and experience, you may be offered a role on the Committee.

Visit the SEEK Volunteer link for this role to find out more and apply: https://www.volunteer.com.au/volunteering/163074/marketing-and-campaign-manager-management-committee-member

BEST Programme Bicycle Deliveries to Bicycle Workshops in Namibia

Enjoy these shorts videos, put together by volunteer Kwan Toh, showing the recent delivery of bicycles to Health Care workers from the Kavango and Bukalo Bike Shops in the Zambezi region of Namibia.

Bukalo Bike Shop

Hear Christine Namushi Matomola, who teaches disease prevention at the Catholic Aids Action’s Soup Kitchen, share her lovely words of thanks.

Vavango Bike Shop

Supporting Namibian locals through BEST Covid-19 Program

Thanks to the hard work of our partner organisation, Bicycle Empowerment Network Namibia (BEN)Eliakim Elago Ipinge and Ngulura Smasiku are among the first entrepreneurs in Namibia to receive donated bicycles through Bicycles for Humanity’s BEST programme.

Eliakim is 49 years old and lives in Swakopmund at the Namibian coast. He had a good job at a local factory before the pandemic struck, but in order to keep the factory open, he and other workers agreed to a 50% cut in their wages. For younger workers, the cut was not so drastic, but Eliakim is 49, and supports 9 children and his elderly parents with his income. The pandemic has been very tough on Eliakim and his family, and one of the costs that he cut was taxis to and from work (there is no public transport in Swakopmund), meaning that he lost 2 hours a day walking.

With a bicycle, Eliakim now has more time and energy for his family, as well as the potential to supplement his income with mobile sales and deliveries.

Ngulura lives in Bukalo village in north eastern Namibia. He is 31 years old and has one child. Each month he survives on the Namibian minimum wage, equivalent to AUD$126, and has no money to spare for savings for an item like a bicycle. 

Bicycles for Humanity’s BEST programme has given Ngulura access to a bicycle to help him access new employment opportunities and generate income through delivery as well as sale of hand sanitisers and masks. 

Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne Packing Day – February 2021

We have missed our face to face connections with our extended Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne family. So we are calling on all our volunteers to come to help at our next packing day.

Please join us for the first COVID Safe packing session of 2021. 

When: Sunday 28th February 2021, 10am – 3pm

In the event of inclement weather/extremes of heat, an alternative date will be the following Sunday.

Where: Parkview Secure Self Storage, 359 Lower Dandenong Road, Dingley Village.

Please park on the street. Access is via the small gate adjacent to the main gate which will be closed on the day. 

How: Register your interest via email here and please let us know if you have any specific BBQ dietary requirements.

COVID Safety:

Social distancing to be observed, however as we are out in the open, masks optional. Volunteers will be required to sign in with QR code located on the main whiteboard. Alternatively, paper registration list will be available. 

What: Thanks to Kwan for putting together a behind the scenes time lapse video of what the packing day entails through the magic of Vimeo:

Leading the Cycling Revolution in Northern Namibia – Lucky’s Story

If you are wanting some inspiration to kick off your new year, have a listen to Michael Linke, founder of Bicycling Empowerment Network (BEN) Namibia, and Lucky Mbako, owner of Oshana Bicycles, discuss all things Bicycles in a conversation that spans from Australia all the way to Namibia, where Lucky is situated.

Lucky details the very start of his cycling journey, which began by being a part of the Physically Active Youth organisation all the way through to starting the Oshana Bicycle Shop. Lucky explains that during the first four years of operating Oshana Bicycle Shop, the team focused on fixing bicycles and selling bicycles took place based on customer requests. The Bicycle shop started from very humble beginnings, but Lucky is delighted to inform listeners that thanks to all the volunteers and donations the Oshana Bicycle Shop has been able to grow to what it is today.

To hear more about Lucky’s story, and all the fascinating details from the beginning of his cycling journey to becoming a leading cycling advocate and entrepreneur in Northern Namibia, watch the video below:

2020 Pedal for Purpose Virtual Challenge – Final Strava Club Stats and Prize Winners Announced

The final week was our best week of the Pedal for Purpose virtual event with 223 Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne Strava club members (runners, walkers and cyclists) completing 676 activities for a total of 29,695km. 

This leaves us with the phenomenal total of 2,767 activities logged on Strava for over 110,036km which equals 10 virtual containers on their way to Namibia. A great effort by everyone! 

The Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne Strava Club Top 10 Leaderboard (by distance) at the end of the Pedal for Purpose virtual event:

Week 2 – first round of prizes:

  • A $115 prize pack presented by Knog goes to Nick Gils for not being able to decide where to go.
  • A $20.00 Bicycle Super Store Voucher goes to Triple B for his Red Wine Ride theme.
  • A $20.00 Bicycle Super Store Voucher goes to John Paul Lopez Taberdo for his “ Lords of Thunder “ ride.

Week 3 – second round of prizes:

  • A $129.99 prize pack presented by Knog has to go to John Holland for his night ride. You will see why if you look at the prize. 

The next two prizes go to some team members who seemed to need a lift after a couple of tough rides!

  • A $35. 00 Bicycle Super Store Voucher goes to Michael Mc Carthy for his appalling average.  
  • A $35.00 Bicycle Super Store Voucher goes to Kaye Graham for her struggle street ride. 

Week 4 – final round of prizes:

  • A $139.99 prize pack presented by Knog goes to Lisa Jacob for her 813km on the bike this week and many of them in the mountains.
  • A $50.00 Bicycle Super Store Voucher goes to Greg Walters for his superb photo. 
  • A $50.00 Bicycle Super Store Voucher goes to Brett Kingston for also topping the 800km mark for the week .

Special shout out to Aiden B, one of our NRS riders, for a quick recovery after a nasty crash on the last day. 

Still time to donate and join our Strava club

Don’t forget to donate if you wish and please encourage other riders to join our Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne Strava club community at anytime. We have grown from 68 members to 223 Strava club members over the duration of the Pedal for Purpose virtual event!

We will touch base with all prize winners in the next week or so. 

Thank you again and have a great holidays and celebrate 2021 as a community that has supported each other through a very difficult year.