The 88bikes Foundation – a nonprofit organization that gives bikes to kids in developing countries – has announced its next project, Asha 2012. Its sixth and most ambitious project, Asha 2012 will endow bicycles to thousands of girls – primarily those who having endured and transcended slavery and abuse – living in regions from Eastern Europe to Southeast Asia. The first endowment will take place in summer 2012.
Asha 2012 was inspired by 88bikes’ 2010 endowment of bicycles to every girl living in an ashram in remote Bihar, India. Survivors of sexual slavery, they were sheltered by 88bikes’ nongovernmental agency partner, Free the Slaves, for several months before reintegrating back into their communities. The namesake for the project, “Asha” (her name has been changed to honor her privacy), had been sold into slavery by a neighbor in her village. She escaped after a week and found her way to the Bihar Ashram to recover. After six months at the ashram, Asha reintegrated back into the same community from which she was sold, a striking example of courage and resiliency. Asha means “hope” in Sanskrit.
88bikes is currently accepting sponsorships of $88 per bike for Asha 2012. Donations can be made online at www.88bikes.org. Donors are asked to email a picture of themselves, to be presented with the bike. In return, 88bikes sends back a photo of the child with her new bike and her donor’s picture.
88bikes was started in 2006 by Dan Austin, Nicolas Arauz, and Jared Austin. 88bikes has now completed five projects, which have brought more than 2,000 bikes to children in developing countries around the world. To learn more and become a bike sponsor, go to www.88bikes.org.