Press Release: World Bicycle Relief 2017 Impact Report

World Bicycle Relief (WBR), a global nonprofit and social enterprise mobilizing people in developing countries through The Power of Bicycles, distributed 54,687 of its signature Buffalo Bicycles across nine countries in 2017, according to the organization’s Annual Global Impact Report. The report illuminates the impact of the bicycle on an individual’s life whose only choice is walking, specifically highlighting current research studies and data that showcase positive outcomes for students, healthcare workers, and farmers who have received a bicycle. The total number of life-changing bicycles distributed since the organization’s inception now exceeds 392,000.

WBR is built on an innovative model that combines life-changing philanthropic programs with social enterprise sales. Currently, 70% of WBR donations fund bicycle programs. The impact is matched by social enterprise sales to companies, nonprofit organizations and individuals who purchase Buffalo Bicycles for their own use in rural communities.

“When a person whose primary mode of transportation is walking receives a bicycle, a quantum leap in productivity takes place,” said WBR Co-Founder and Chairman F.K. Day. “Every day in the field, we see how a simple heavy-duty, high-quality bicycle can transform the lives of individuals and their families. This year’s results reinforce our commitment to continued growth and helping many more people conquer the barrier of distance, achieve independence, and thrive.”

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2017 Impact Report highlights include:

● 54,687 Buffalo Bicycles distributed
● 27,481 bicycles distributed to students
● 70 percent of bicycle distribution to students targeted to females
● 222 field mechanics trained
● 9 countries served: Colombia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Thailand, Zambia, Zimbabwe
● 6 countries with ongoing research studies collecting data on bicycle usage and input

Global Impact Since Inception (2005-2017)

● 392,000+ bicycles distributed
● 206,000 bicycles funded
● 186,000 bicycles sold
● 1,906 field mechanics trained
● 20 countries served
● 6 research studies published: 2 Education, 2 Economic Development, 1 Healthcare, 1 Disaster Relief

“Bicycles are an often overlooked development tool,” said WBR CEO Dave Neiswander. “We know bicycles can drive global progress and that mobility through a quality bicycle can help break the cycle of poverty and disease. Our vision for 2018 and beyond is to continue to innovate, collaborate and create viable bicycle ecosystems that support educated children, healthier communities, and robust economies that benefit all.”

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Other 2017 Impact Report Highlights and Key Findings:

Contribution to UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): WBR programming directly contributes to achieving nine of the 17 SDGs: Goal 1 – No Poverty, Goal 2 – Zero Hunger, Goal 3 – Good Health & Well-Being, Goal 4 – Quality Education, Goal 5 – Gender Equity, Goal 6 – Clean Water & Sanitation, Goal 10 – Reduce Inequalities, Goal 11 – Sustainable Cities & Communities and Goal 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production.

Impact on Education: In 2017, WBR launched an in-depth study to evaluate the impact of bicycles on girls’ empowerment, self-esteem, and confidence as well as on school attendance, enrollment, and academic performance. WBR and UBS Optimus Foundation are co-funding 
the rigorous, two-year randomized control study led by Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) to measure the impact of our Bicycles for Educational Empowerment Program (BEEP) on girls and boys in Zambia.

Impact on Farming: A WBR study conducted in Zambia to measure the influence of bicycles on the transportation challenges of a sample of recipient farmers found that farmers with bicycles increased their monitoring visits by 120% while reducing time spent traveling by 60% and 90% of farmers used their bicycles to transport produce to market.

Impact on Families: Based on data that shows each bicycle changes an average of five lives, 273,435 lives were positively impacted through the distribution of Buffalo Bicycles in 2017. Since 2005, 1.96M lives have been changed.

To read the full 2017 Impact Report, click here.

Your Support Multiplied from World Bicycle Relief on Vimeo.


World Bicycle Relief launches year-end campaign, “Together We Rise”

World Bicycle Relief has announced the start of its year-end campaign for donations, an annual appeal for funds that will provide life-changing bicycles to students living in developing countries.

Donations received now through Dec. 31, 2017, up to $1.7 million, will be matched dollar-for-dollar with the potential of delivering tens of thousands of bicycles to students who are at risk of dropping out due to the challenge of distance and personal safety on the way to school.

This year’s campaign, Together We Rise, highlights Umoja Secondary School in Eldoret, Kenya, where children of Christian, Muslim and traditional African faiths study together and embody their motto: “Together We Rise.”

Like millions of children across rural Africa, many students at Umoja Secondary School endure long walks to school that put their academic futures at risk. Girl students face even more obstacles accessing an education: hours of obligatory domestic chores and the threat of sexual assault on the way to school. On top of these daunting challenges, Muslim girls in this region also confront cultural expectations. Traditionally, they are not allowed to ride bicycles.

When Umoja Secondary School received bicycles in 2016, a group of Muslim and Christian girls, together, chose to challenge the cultural expectations that confined them. This year’s campaign highlights how these young girls conquered their fears, pushed past cultural restraints and boldly pursued their academic goals on two wheels. With bicycles, girls not only conquered the challenge of distance, but also tapped into a newfound confidence and independence that came with riding a bike. Riding together also led to new friendships among students.

“Owning a bicycle has changed my life a lot. I have come to face the world. It has helped me be confident. We can be ourselves, not what people want us to be,” said Ayan, a student at Umoja Secondary School.

World Bicycle Relief is committed to breaking down barriers for girls, helping them achieve their educational goals and become change-makers within their communities and around the world.

By providing a girl a way to get to school safely, she’s empowered to stay in school, get an education and break through the limitations holding her back. World Bicycle Relief is confident that the power of bicycles can play an influential role in progress for girls in Kenya and other developing countries.

Join World Bicycle Relief this holiday season in changing the future for thousands of bright, dedicated and passionate girls by donating to World Bicycle Relief here:

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