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Women learn to ride bikes in GhanaPhoto by Mary Jayne Cassady

Numbers Tell Our Story

As of December 2010:

  • 50,000 donated used bikes shipped to Africa since1999
  • 10,000 students taught bike repair skills
  • 18,000 bike tools distributed in 13 African countries

bikes bicycles africa


Bicycles Change Everything

Bikes Reduce Poverty,
Bikes Provide Power & Opportunity

In Africa, a bicycle can make all the difference.  Riding a bike is four times faster than walking, the only choice for millions of Africans. People with bikes get to schools, markets, farms and health care in one-fourth the time, improving their lives and economic futures.

Village Bicycle Project makes the difference for tens of thousands of Africans. Our successful program supplies bikes, spare parts and tools. We also train owners in basic bike maintenance and repair. We empower whole communities by including women and girls in bicycle education.  These components work together to nurture the use of bikes. Improved mobility is a key to reducing poverty. In Africa, a bicycle can take a person from poverty to prosperity.

The Village Bicycle Project has no paid administrative staff.  In 2010, over 12,000 volunteer hours were donated across the USA, Canada, England, Ghana and Sierra Leone.

A Big Boost for Bicycles in Sierra

Village Bicycle Project and the Mike’s Bikes Foundation Partnership

On January 3, Village Bicycle Project kicked off the New Year by loading 645 bikes, our biggest ever shipment ever! 

This was our first shipment to Sierra Leone, and our first collaboration with Mike’s Bikes Foundation, (MBF) of Northern California.  

Sierra Leone native Sahr Sogbeh, one of our partners in Sierra Leone, was on hand to show us his technique for loading up to 800 adult bikes into a 40 foot long, high cube container.   Key to Sahr’s method is to remove the front wheel, lay the bikes flat and interlock them.  “You get more bikes in if you take several days to carefully pack them in,” said Sahr.  We only had 8 hours.

This shipment of bikes represents the scaling up of VBP programs in Sierra Leone, started by VBP volunteer Brittany Richardson in mid 2009. 


Pictured, Mike’s Bikes co-founder Ken Martin passing parts to Sahr Sogbeh, to be carefully placed inside the container with 645 bikes!     Photo by Brittany Richardson   

500 school girls have learned how to ride bikes as a result of Brittany’s work. Many of these bikes will be awarded to those girls. Mike’s Bikes Foundation is establishing a sister shop partnership with an existing bike shop in Sierra Leone’s capital,Freetown.

Mike’s Bikes Foundation is an off-shoot of Mike’s Bikes bike shops, of which there are eight stores in the California Bay Area. Customers are able to donate unwanted bikes at any of their shops. MBF already has sister shops in several southern African countries.