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.