JACKSON, WY (BRAIN)—From its inception in 2005, the Kona AfricaBike program has had a simple, primary focus: provide durable, easy-to-maintain AfricaBikes to healthcare workers to assist in the treatment of HIV/AIDS patients.
To date, Kona has donated roughly 500 bikes and will double its output this year by generating 1,000 AfricaBikes for the project.
One of the main reasons that has enabled Kona to produce such a great allotment is the 2-for-1 AfricaBike sales program where Kona donates one bike for every two purchased by consumers.
The AfricaBikes are delivered to Bicycling magazine and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Secure the Future Foundation BikeTown project and other non-profit and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) whose missions include helping to improve the quality of life in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, for 2008 Kona has broadened its scope and is developing projects with the World Wildlife Foundation and other organizations. Details will be released soon.
With roughly 2,000 AfricaBikes being sold around the world in the last year, Kona will donate 1,000 to the project with all proceeds from sales going into the production and delivery of AfricaBikes to Africa.
“There is a sense at Kona that cyclists are becoming more aware of their role in the world and how bicycles can contribute to the well-being of people everywhere,” said Kona co-founder Jake Heilbron. “The idea that we can help in Africa has clearly hit a nerve in the minds of cyclists everywhere.”
Last year, Kona’s adopt-an-AfricaBike program raised more than $10,000. A couple of examples of individuals going the extra mile for the program are 10-year-old Quinn Freedman, who raised $1,500 by completing a solo 25-mile “Bike-a-thon” in the San Juan Islands last November and Virginia Tech senior Christine George, who is currently spearheading a fundraiser with the goal of raising $10,000 for the project.
In partnership with Bicycling Magazine and Bristol-Myers Squibb, Kona will be making at least three trips to Africa in June and August. BikeTown representatives, volunteers and bike mechanics will be stopping in Mozambique, Swaziland and twice in South Africa to deliver AfricaBikes, educate Africans about the bikes and lend support in their healthcare mission.