FERNDALE, WA (BRAIN)—This December 1 on World AIDS Day the final basket was tightened and tires pumped on the 1,000th Kona AfricaBike.
Over the last two-plus months, 1,000 AfricaBikes were donated to home healthcare workers in four different areas of South Africa, Chokwe, Mozambique and Mbabane, Swaziland, to assist in the treatment of HIV/AIDS patients.
Over the course of the 2008 BikeTown Africa program, organizers, volunteers, teachers, ski bums, financial advisors, honors students, real estate agents, bike-lovers, humanitarians and everyone in between helped get the wheels rolling to better the lives of many in the areas visited. Since 2005, Kona has donated 1,500 AfricaBikes to more than seven sub-Saharan countries.
“Kona is running a fantastic program with fantastic people,” said volunteer Genevieve Carey, who helped build 160 AfricaBikes in the rural township of Bizana, South Africa. “Biketown really gives you the opportunity to see how a bike can change someone’s life. A bike can help bring not only medication, but education as well—and with that you can make a major change.”
Kona along with help of partners Bristol Myers-Squibb Secure The Future Foundation (www.securethefuture.com) and Bicycling magazine (www.bicycling.com) first decide what areas will benefit the most from the AfricaBikes and determine what organizations to work with. Then, they go to these areas with a BikeTown crew and boxes full of tools. They build bikes with local healthcare workers and others, test ride the bikes through the streets of the town they're in and have a formal handover ceremony with local leaders to wrap-up each bike build.
For a complete recap of the 2008 BikeTown Africa project including first hand accounts from each bike build with images and video, click on link.