Melbourne, Australia info@bicyclesforhumanity.com

The Kaoko Bike Shop – Opuwo, Namibia

Our first container of bikes left for Namibia in June 2009. It is now an  extremely successful bike work shop in the town of Opowu in northern Namibia. Implemented with the help of BEN Nambia as a Bicycle Empowerment Centre the workshop has provided much of the local community with bikes which have changed their day to day lives.  The income from the workshop is supporting the orphan program run by The Red Cross.

The container has now been modified – given an extra roof, doors and a concrete pad outside. Local particpants are trained as bike mechanics and also educated in business and entrepeneurial skills. The BEC is established as a self sustaining business that can contuinue to benefit the community well into the future. The Kaoko BEC has been a successful venture from its launch. It provides vital services and bikes to the local community and employs 4 mechanics who’s lives have been completely changed by their involvement in the project. Meet The Team below.

Rauna 38 y.o., 1 year old child. Her allowance as a Red Cross volunteer was N$200 per month, she now earns N$700 per month. Rauna has already bought a bicycle for her child, and the main difference the extra income makes for her is being able to buy more food each month.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Michael 26 y.o., main guardian for his niece, was working as a pastor before the BEC and earning a variable amount, averaging around what he earns through the BEC, but was travelling 2-3 weeks per month, and as guardian of his niece was not able to provide her enough attention. Now earns N$700 per month. Michael having a more structured work and family life

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Johannes 22 y.o., no kids, was working as a casual shelf stacker at a local supermarket, earning N$90 per shift, sometimes only getting 3 or 4 shifts per month. Now earns N$700. Johannes describes his life before the project as an endless struggle, in which he frequently had to borrow money to pay his rent and buy food, and is glad he no longer has to do this.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Simpson 20 y.o., no kids. Was not working previously, now earns N$400 per month as the apprentice mechanic (Simpson did not participate in BEN Namibia’s training). Simpson has only completed grade 8, and as such his employment prospects were bleak, but his passion for bicycle repair won him a place on the team.

You can follow them on FaceBook  at https://www.facebook.com/kaokobicycleshop.opuwo