The 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) provided a great recap of B4H Melbourne’s milestones this year.
Andy Gild, cofounder and CEO of B4H Melbourne, summed it up perfectly when she said that “what we do is all about the impact”. Reflecting upon B4H Melbourne from the very beginning until now certainly echoes this sentiment. Over the years 27 containers have been sent to Africa, landing in Namibia, Zambia, Madagascar and Botswana. Each container has a huge impact in Africa, with every bicycle, and every shop having a profound impact on people’s lives.
Despite all of the challenges with COVID this year, 856 bicycles were prepped to ship, 436 bicycles were shipped and 129 bicycles were sold back into the community. In August this year, container 27 touched down in Namibia packed to the brim with 436 bicycles, 34 solar panels and two wheelchairs. A huge thank you goes out to Queenscliff Men’s Shed who generously funded the container!
Excitingly, 2021 saw B4H Melbourne begin implementing its 30K30 strategy. The strategy aims to repurpose 30 thousand bicycles, support 30 sustainable workshops and potentially partner with 30 organisations by the year 2030. The first partnership has been formed with the fantastic organisation Slipstream Coaching, pathing the way for B4H to make great strides in its contribution to the community.
Even during lockdowns work was undertaken behind the scenes, in particular B4H Melbourne worked closely with Michael Linke (CEO of BEN Namibia) to pivot to a bicycle entrepreneurship program. So far, 92 bicycles have been offered through the shops at a discount and six month repayment period, and there has been an extended offer to low income workers who have been affected by pandemic wage cuts.
Of course, none of this would be possible without our amazing volunteers who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure B4H Melbourne’s success. Whilst there are many notable volunteers, a special thanks goes out to Mandi Gunsberger and Keir Paterson who are now stepping off the Board after making valued contributions. Another congratulations goes out to Bill Martin and Mary-Jane Willis, both of whom were recipients of the Matt McCullough Volunteer Award 2021 for their outstanding voluntary contributions to B4H Melbourne.
Along with the ups of 2021, B4H Melbourne has also experienced a great loss. In April 2021 Pat Montani, the B4H global founder, tragically passed away after a short battle with cancer. Pat was an incredible human being who devoted a huge amount of time and energy to this amazing grassroots organisation and has enabled communities around the world to develop and flourish. Container 28, which will be sent off in early 2022, is dedicated to Pat and will be sent in his honour.
2021 has been another huge year for B4H Melbourne and we are so excited to see what 2022 holds!
Click here to read the full B4H AGM CEO Report.