We love cycling here at SHUUPE. We love the freedom it gives you, the fitness it gives you, the headspace it puts you in (except for when you encounter angry drivers) the ease of getting from a to b. The list is endless in our eyes. We’re lucky enough to take this for granted, but this isn’t the case everywhere. When people say “you don’t know how lucky you are” they’re right we don’t. This is why we’re supporting the brilliant World Bicycle Relief by donating 10% of all profits we make to the charity.
In the developing world, walking is the primary mode of transportation for millions of people. With access to vital resources such as clean water, trade, education and medical care sometimes spread over vast distances, walking makes many everyday tasks that we consider easy into long, difficult journeys. Imagine having to walk for two hours just to go to school, or walking miles to receive medical attention when you’re ill. World Bicycle Relief’s mission is to improve the lives of millions by mobilising them with bikes.
With over 420,000 bikes provided to people in 20 countries so far, World Bicycle Relief has improved the lives of millions of people. Giving bikes to students has seen educational attendance improve by 28% and grades go up 58%; healthcare workers are able to visit more clients on any given day; business owners and entrepreneurs are able to sell more products at further distances, bringing in more money to support their families.
World Bicycle Relief was founded in 2005 in response to the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami where thousands of people were killed or injured by the wave, and survivors were left with little to no infrastructure with which to rebuild their lives. With a solid backing by SRAM Corporation, the founders, F.K. Day and Leah Missbach Day, launched World Bicycle Relief to provide bicycles to those in need. Partnering with aid organisations in Sri Lanka, World Bicycle Relief distributed more than 24,000 bicycles to displaced survivors, providing access to education, healthcare and livelihoods while reconnecting entire communities. Following the positive impact that bicycles provided as relief in Sri Lanka, WBR were invited to partner with a large-scale health program in Zambia. The US AID-funded program, RAPIDS, trained and equipped community healthcare workers to help combat the AIDS epidemic. In 2006, they provided more than 23,000 bicycles through this program to support volunteers who would walk long distances to provide home-based care.
WBR has since built programs to provide specially designed, locally assembled bicycles for students, healthcare workers and entrepreneurs across Africa, South America and Southeast Asia. Perfect for heavy loads, long distances and rugged terrains, WBR has developed the Buffalo Bicycle. With a rear carrier capacity of 100kg, puncture-resistant tyres, a thick steel frame and powerful all-weather coaster brakes, they are incredibly strong and durable bikes. To put it simply, they are built to last. While the bicycles themselves help individuals conquer distance and increase their carrying capacity, WBR has also created new economic opportunities by training field mechanics and employing bike assemblers to support local programs.
To date, WBR have provided almost half a million bikes, changing the lives of nearly 2.5 million people around the globe. We think that World Bicycle Relief is shuuper and are so proud to support this fantastic charity. So while you’re tucking into your delicious and convenient breakfast, you’re not only setting yourself up for the day, you’re helping set up thousands of people in the developing world for a better life.