Bikes can make a HUGE difference. I believe BikeTown Africa's bikes are used by health workers that can now visit far more people than they were able to do on foot. The bikes are custom made to be low maintainance and easy to service ad suitable for the local conditions
Bikes reduce, already poor, countries dependance on fossil fuels while benefiting the health its people. They also reduce emissions as many 3rd world countries don't have or can't enforce emission laws.
One thing that is often over looked by 1st world charities/donors is the country may already have a bike industry or a bike shops. A massive influx of FREE bikes can put these guys out of business. Charities should endevour to work with existing bike outlets or groups for distribution.
Just sending bikes without checking things out can be dodgy too. I know of containers of 2nd hand bikes, send by a well meaning organisation and meant for free distribution that are sold for personal gain.
If anyone want to talk to me about giving bikes, particularly road bikes, I run a club that helps a developing country's youth get into competitive cycling. We always on the look out for bikes and bike gear.
Have a look here
. I can be contacted on the email address there or PM me.
Happy Chrstmas.... Holidays... New Year...
Last edited by Velomancer; 12-01-08 at 10:41 PM.