In an exciting collaboration, Andy Gild (CEO of Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne), Andrew Wilson (Business Development Manager of Essential Solar) and Kerryn Powell (Founder of Your Time Matters) engage in an inspiring conversation about the importance of connections and contributions on Powell’s podcast: ‘Conversations and Connections to Amplify and Inspire’.
As Bicycles for Humanity approaches its 12th year in existence, Gild reminisces on the evolution of the grass roots charity born from one coffee between herself and co-founder Matt McCullough.
A crucial part of the great evolution of Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne has been the provision of solar panels from Essential Solar. In the podcast Wilson maps out how the provision of solar panels has allowed electronic bicycles to be utilised in Namibia, and in turn enabled Bicycles for Humanity to expands its outreach.
The key takeaway from Powell, Gild and Wilson is that conversations and connections can lead to huge opportunities!
To listen to this uplifting podcast, just press play below!
Five donated bicycles have just arrived with their recipients at the Singalamwe Bicycle Workshop! Singalamwe in Zambezi region has the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Namibia, so the bicycles have been donated to volunteers supporting the outreach healthcare program.
Jane Wachila, regional co-ordinator of the Catholic Aids Action in Singalamwe, Namibia has excitedly told us that the bicycles will be of great assistance to volunteers reaching out to vulnerable communities.
The volunteers have been struggling to visit all of their patients on foot. The bicycles allow the volunteers to travel further around the community and in a more efficient manner, enabling volunteers to reach sick patients much faster.
Watch the video featuring the recipients of the donated bicycles in Singalamwe, Namibia:
The donated bicycles in Singalamwe, Namibia are part of the Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne tracking program. Tracking devices are placed on certain donated bicycles to track the number of kilometres the bicycles travel. Featured in the image is Lucky and Martin with the first tracking device, ready to place on Martin’s bicycle!
The bicycle tracking program also allows donors to hear from the recipients of their bicycle donations. The bicycle tracking program creates personal connections through the donation process, resulting in deeper connections within the Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne community.
Many of you will no doubt be aware of the Stage 4 restrictions that have come into force in Melbourne and Stage 3 restrictions across the rest of Victoria.
As a result, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily postpone our 2020 Pedal for Purpose Virtual Challenge event until the current restrictions in Melbourne are lifted (expected mid September).
We would love for you all to stay connected, stay supportive, stay sane, and share your daily wins. For those of you who are still free to venture out, we encourage you to share your photographs, stories and achievements to spread good cheer.
We will continue to provide weekly updates as to how we are doing in Melbourne. To those in Melbourne, we encourage you to get creative with your new one hour exercise restrictions and 5km radius travel limits.
To everyone, we encourage you to take this time to ensure you get outside and some fresh air on a daily basis, and stay social connected with our community virtually.
In closing, our Strava volunteer Matthew leaves you with a little #whatworksforme story. We welcome you all to do the same across our social media channels throughout the coming month and beyond:
“Sunrise works for me – changing light, silence and peace, colours in the sky, blinding fog or deep frost all provide the opportunity to reflect and greet the new day. Whether that be on a paper round as a young boy, an early surf swim or walk, and most recently on the Puka Up bike rides, the dawn is my special time. Get out and enjoy it!”
Thank you to everyone who is already participating virtually, and a special thank you to those who have made a donation. If you would like to donate to our 2020 Pedal for Purpose Virtual Challenge you can use the link or click on the image below.
Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne is excited (wheely pumped) to be launching our annual fundraiser for 2020 the Pedal for Purpose Virtual Challenge.
While it’s been an unusual 2020 so far, we remain encouraged by the enthusiasm of donors and growing number of Volunteers. All who have remained active throughout our shared hibernation.
For the month of August 2020, we’re looking to build on this energy and lift community spirits by reconnecting and connecting socially, from a safe distance. Whether you live locally in Victoria, across the border, or globally, you’re invited to join us in staying active for a good cause.
So, take to the pedals and the pavement, and help us cover the distance from Melbourne to Namibia – over 11,000km in total. All in the name of raising funds to empower futures and communities in Namibia – one bicycle at a time.
If you’re a regular fitness junkie, or simply looking to contribute to a good cause – you can take part from home or on the go anytime throughout August. Every kilometre you cover with Strava will be logged towards our goal distance.
What: 2020 Pedal for Purpose Virtual Challenge Ride Event
For all Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne Strava club members and participants, there are 9 spoke-tacular prizes up for grabs thanks to our incredible sponsors and good friends at Knog and the Bicycle Superstore.
5. Share the love and spread the word on Social Media using the hashtag: #B4HVirtualChallenge
In the name of funding futures, we welcome all participants who join the challenge to make a donation and/or call on friends and family to join the distance and support our annual fundraiser. Just $20 is enough to send a donated bicycle to Africa — and it’s tax deductible.
If you can’t join us from 1st August, you can join and participate anytime throughout August and help us reach our target kilometers and fundraising.
Follow the progress of our Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne Strava club’s members’ progress:
Virtual Challenge Event Donations
Donating $20 will send 1 bicycle to Africa to help support and empower local communities in Namibia through our local partners.
Donate directly to our 2020 Pedal for Purpose Virtual Challenge Event and fundraiser using your preferred payment method below:
Donate via MyCause
2020 Pedal for Purpose Virtual Challenge Event Donation Form
Donate via Direct Bank Transfer
Donation Amount: $20+ Name: Bicycles For Humanity Melbourne BSB: 033-029 Account: 155859 Bank: Westpac Reference: “Pedal for Purpose”
Donate via PayPal
Use your debit or credit card to donate to Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne via PayPal
Virtual Challenge Event Terms & Conditions
Bicycles For Humanity Melbourne is a not-for-profit organisation registered in the State of Victoria, Australia under the Association Incorporations Act. (ABN 64 536 981 955) and is the organiser of Pedal for Purpose Virtual Challenge 2020.
Pedal for Purpose Virtual Challenge 2020 (“The Event”) is an event open to everyone and is not restricted by jurisdiction or territory. The event is open from 1 August 2020, and closes on 31 August 2020.
The Event is conducted by Bicycles For Humanity, Melbourne. Any use of the event name, content, logos and/or visible images without permission by Bicycles For Humanity, Melbourne, is strictly forbidden.
The Event is a promotional campaign and is intended to:
encourage participation in safe and responsible cycling, with knowledge and skills,
encourage cycling as an individual past-time and lifestyle choice,
increase the awareness of sustainability in recycling bicycles, and
increase the awareness of Bicycles For Humanity’s principal objectives and cause.
The organiser provides a platform for participation in The Event only, and participants in The Event are advised to observe the following:
The organiser is not responsible for participants’ equipment choice, route choice or health status. Participants and other users of the information provided for The Event are recommended to: a. consult a health professional before embarking on any program of physical exercise; b. seek advice on the suitability and safety of equipment that is intended to be used in The Challenge; c. consider safety messages and tips to ensure that they ride responsibly for their own and others safety and courtesy.
The organiser does not provide specific or recommendations for cycling routes and pathways, but recommends that participants and other users of the information, undertake to research and examine a range of credible sources to find and determine additional information relevant for their individual cycling routes and pathways suitable to their own abilities and safety. The organiser takes no responsibility in participants’ choice of cycling routes or pathways.
The Event is not a competition, and participants are asked to ride whatever distance they are comfortable riding in their desired location.
Participants are not required to donate money but there is an option to donate as part of the event
Prizes are awarded to participants randomly chosen from those who upload images of their ride to any social media platform, tagging Bicycles for Humanity. The details of prizes and the specification of any inclusions or equipment stand at the time of publication and may be subject to availability.
The organiser may from time to time, introduce additional awards, prizes and additional rewards for participants of The Event, the conditions for which will be indicated at the time of introduction.
The organiser reserves the right to refuse acceptance or cancel registration of any individual or entity to The Event. The organiser also seeks the cooperation of participants to demonstrate when requested, their legal authorisation to enter The Event; failure to comply or to fulfill the request adequately may result in cancellation of their application to The Event.
The organiser provides no warranty on equipment supplied or referred to, and participants should address any enquiries relating to the use or defect of equipment to the respective manufacturer, distributor or official selling agent of such equipment.
We are excited to share news of 50 entrepreneurs having received bicycles (through our BEST program) to enable them to support regional communities. They will be selling hand sanitiser and locally supplied face masks as well sharing vital health information during this Covid19 period.
Shipping Container 25
In partnership with our friends at Good Cycles and in memory of our wonderful co-founder, Matt McCullough, Container 25, also supported by the Maud St Collective, will soon be converted into a new solar powered e-hub! We look forward to seeing the e-bikes, which we supplied through your generous support of our raffle, in action very soon.
These have now landed in Namibia and are soon to start their journey’s gathering data on bicycle impact and use. Huge thanks to Slipstream Coaching for sponsoring the trackers.
As well as bicycles being donated to school kids, 5 bicycles are planned to be delivered to Samuel Kapipo to support his Soup Kitchen volunteers. We look forward to sharing stories soon from the bicycles’ new owners.
With the end of theAustralian financial year fast approaching, make your tax donation count, support the development of African communities.
We know the benefits of a bicycle has on our lives. But in the developing world, it is life-changing on a different scale. It allows access to health care, education, economic opportunity and the wider community.
A bicycle means they can travel twice as far, twice as fast and carry four times the load – this alone is enough to provide a change in circumstance that is profound and lasting.
Each of the 40-foot shipping containers that Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne sends becomes a bicycle workshop – providing employment, skills, training, business, opportunity and economic development for the community in which it’s placed.
You can support the growth of African communities by donating today.
In 2019 we had over 120 volunteers at six packing days, leading to 1,422 donated bicycles being sent to Namibia in three shipping containers. This year, we are well on our way to breaking this record. Of course, none of this would be possible without our volunteers.
Our selfless volunteers keep the wheels spinning here at Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne (pun intended)! Whether its collecting bicycles, donating them, packing them up or the often overlooked behind the scenes work, one thing is for sure- Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne would not be able to function without our volunteers.
COVID-19 has hit the world with a lot of uncertainty, but one thing has remained the same- the wholehearted dedication of our amazing volunteers. Whilst social distancing restrictions threw some pretty tricky obstacles in our path, we were able to overcome them with the help of some of the brains (and brawn) behind Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne.
With the help of our incredible volunteers from Men’s Bike Shed, we were able to pack 105 bicycles into one of our containers, all whilst maintaining the important 1.5 metres distance.
Neil Harris has also demonstrated that nothing will stand in the way of a volunteer’s commitment to help out. Neil collects old bicycles from his surrounding neighbourhood and then refurbishes them for pickup. In this past month alone, Neil has donated a whopping 45 bicycles to us!
A lot of the time, volunteers have to learn what to do on the job. There’s no strict instruction manual when things veer off track and need a solution. Often, this can be challenging and requires a bit of creativity to get the job done. Gerard, from the Dingley Men’s Shed, is a perfect example of this. Gerard regularly volunteers for Bicycles for Humanity, and has, amongst other valuable contributions, helped fit the roof of our storage space.
Gerard demonstrated great innovation when we received a request from Namibia for a Wheel Truer. To fulfil this request, Gerard impressively taught himself some welding skills and created the Wheel Truer above!
Our volunteers constantly astonish us with the great skill, care and adaptability they apply to their role. They are the pillars of Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne, and we are forever grateful for the work that they do.
In the midst of the COVID-19 panic, and whirlwind of related bad news, container 25 brings a spark of joy to the Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne community.
Container 25, dedicated to the life of founding partner Matt McCullough, in conjunction with Good Cycles, has touched down in Namibia. Lucky, our partner for the new workshop, will play an integral role in facilitating the progression of the workshop.
Eventually, container 25 will be transformed into a solar powered e-hub. It will be supported by 2 e-bicycles which we excitingly purchased through our 2019 raffle, so thank you to all those who purchased tickets. Look what you have helped achieve!
Lucky has shared his plans to make one e-bicycle a mobile bicycle workshop, and the other a school bus style bicycle. We cannot wait to see these e-bicycles in action! Stay tuned, as we plan to document more of Lucky’s workshop project.
BEN Namibia proposes a COVID-19 response that aims to reduce transmission risk through improving awareness and hygiene in low income communities, and stimulates economic activity by promoting local manufacturing of masks by 25 local producers for sale in these communities, and creates 70 new jobs providing delivery services to enable more people to avoid leaving home during the lockdown period. These 95 new jobs will be supported beyond the crisis through our ongoing training and support programme. Bicycle sales will help provide income at our partner shops.
Namibia has been fortunate to date during the COVID-19 crisis, with only 16 reported infections and one suspected death. The government acted decisively in imposing lockdown conditions before the virus could spread. However, concerns remain about the lack of testing and the possibility that the virus could already be more widely active. The lockdown has already brought economic hardship, with an estimated 40% of the population working in the informal economy and many already facing hunger. Government has responded with a subsistence payment scheme, however only 50% of applicants were accepted in the first round. There are also many grassroots initiatives aimed at delivering emergency food packages.
Namibia is ill-equipped for a full-blown coronavirus epidemic. Its health system is under-resourced, and the prevalence of pre-existing illnesses like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis mean there is a disproportionate number of people in the highest risk group for serious or fatal infection.
BEN Namibia and our partners who run the network of bicycle shops that we support have discussed possible approaches during this crisis that both address the pressing issues and fit within our objectives and the objectives of funding through our partnership programme with Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne, the Bicycle Enterprise Support and Training (BEST) programme, supported by Intrepid Travel. We have also consulted the Prime Minister’s office, Red Cross society, Catholic AIDS Action and NANGOV, the peak NGO coordinating body, and have devised a programme that is relevant to the BEST programme, addresses the crisis and is and implementable. This programme is outlined below.
The challenges we aim to address are:
Lack of revenue faced by the shops in the coming months
Lack of basic hygiene and virus transmission prevention (hand washing, face masks)
Lack of employment opportunities under lockdown
A need to maintain social isolation
A lack of delivery services in rural and peri-urban areas
The approach involves purchasing bicycles from the shops, addressing (1). The shops will be responsible for identifying potential entrepreneurs, who once selected will be provided a bicycle and training in issues surrounding hygiene and coronavirus transmission, as well as orientation in provision of delivery services. They will be given soap, tippy taps and face masks to distribute and demonstrate to households. Using a mask, they will talk to people about the virus, importance of social distancing and basic hygiene. They will also promote their delivery services as a means of enabling more people to stay in quarantine, with the aim of generating income from providing deliveries in their local community, addressing 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Masks will be made by local suppliers, and samples given to people in the local community. The delivery entrepreneurs will advise of the availability of masks from local entrepreneurs, providing contact details and pricing, addressing both 2 and 3.
Entrepreneurs will be provided with bicycles at a subsidy in exchange for hygiene product distribution. They will be required to pay in instalments at the end of the coronavirus quarantine period. The recovered funds will be further invested in enterprise development through the BEST programme in 2021. Delivery entrepreneurs will be monitored and supported through the BEST programme.
Contingency funds have been included in the budget in order to be able to be responsive as the situation unfolds, but spending this is conditional on presenting Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne with proposals beforehand. If not spent during the crisis this would be allocated to the ongoing BEST programme.
“In these unprecedented times, as we all do our part to keep everyone safe, we realise the huge impact stopping bicycle collections will have on our friends in Namibia. We look forward to getting our wheels spinning as soon as possible to continue to support communities. Stay safe and be kind to yourselves and others. “
Andy Gild, Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne CEO & Co-founder
Protecting our community is a top priority. A summary of our measures to ensure safety.
In light of the current advice from the Victorian State Government to avoid non essential social gatherings, and to ensure the safety of our vital volunteer workforce, we have decided the best course of action is to put a hold on all donated bicycle collections and Volunteer bicycle packing days until further notice.
If you are planning a clean out while you have extra time at home, please hold onto your old bicycles. Please stay up to date with our monthly email newsletters – where we will be keeping you informed as to where and when we will be ready to once again accept your generous bicycle donations.
Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne was founded by Matt McCullough and Andy Gild in 2008 as the first Australian Bicycles for Humanity (B4H) chapter. We are completely volunteer run and governed by a committee of 8 members.
We are very proud to be part of this global grass-roots movement and have seen first hand how effective the model of Bicycle Empowerment Centres can be in the developing world.
Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne is an incorporated association and registered charity with ACNC and registered for fund raising within Victoria, Australia.