Melbourne, Australia info@b4hmelbourne.org.au

CONTAINER 27 HAS LANDED IN NAMIBIA!

Container 27 has touched down in Namibia and is being unpacked by the team at BEN Namibia as we speak! 

After facing some bumps along the road, from global container supply issues to significant cost increases and all the COVID-19 disruptions we are relieved to know that container 27 has landed safely! 

This container was packed to the brim with 454 bicycles, a large number of which were collected, repaired, cleaned and donated by the wonderful Queenscliff Men’s Shed. Bill Hall, member of Queenscliff Men’s Shed, was generous enough to explain the process in a bit more depth. Bill describes the Queenscliff Men’s Shed as a “place of great camaraderie” and provides a safe space for men and somewhere they can go when they need someone to lean on. The generous spirit fostered at the Men’s Shed manifests in their phenomenal contributions to Bicycles For Humanity. 

The volunteers at the Men’s Shed collect bicycles from all around the district, before spraying them with detergent and giving them a power wash before starting mechanical work on them. The mechanical stage involves taking the front wheel off, turning the handlebars around and taking the pedals off and attaching them with a zip tie to the bicycle, allowing more bicycles to fit inside the container. The aim is to get four to five bicycles completed each day. 

As well as this incredible effort, the Queenscliff Men’s Shed also sold a number of bicycles, which allowed them to donate $2000 towards container 27! 

In addition to the 454 bicycles, container 27 also contained 34 solar panels, donated by Andrew Wilson and Essential Solar. These panels will allow some of the bicycle shops, supported by our partner organisation BEN, to become solar powered!

And don’t forget, if you volunteered at our packing days or donated bicycles then you also played a part in container 27’s arrival! We can’t wait to hear about all the adventures the bicycles get taken on as they begin their new lives across the globe.

Celebrating a Decade of Volunteering at Bicycles for Humanity Western Australia Headquarters

2021 is a big year for B4HWA Chapter! 2021 is the year they celebrate their ten-year anniversary of volunteering. Earlier this year, over 70 people attended a celebration at Midvale to commemorate the event, which featured a speech from guest of honour Ken Wyatt (Federal Member for Hasluck). 

Excitingly, 2021 is also the year that B4HWA founder and Operations Coordinator Jamie Brindle was honoured as one of the 10 finalists in the ABC Spirit of Volunteering Award. 

Established back in 2011, B4HWA was created to address barriers to development and healthcare in rural Africa. In the ten years following their establishment, B4HWA has had a huge impact with 19 containers holding over 6900 bicycles delivered to Namibia, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya Zambia and Malawi. The most recent container touched down in Namibia earlier this year, with 406 bicycles being shared between eight shops. 

In addition to these remarkable overseas donations, B4HWA also donates bicycles to schools in remote communities in Western Australia. B4HWA recently welcomed a new regional hub in Esperance, marking the fourth regional hub in WA. The Esperance Hub is led by Graham Mackenzie and his colleagues at the Rotary Club of Esperance. 

B4HWA’s work doesn’t stop there! They are currently undertaking a research and development project with the aim of developing other useful bicycle based aids for Africa. The newest invention is a bike that has a trailer attached to carry water! 

We are so excited to see what B4HWA has in store for the next ten years! To keep up with their newest developments head over to https://b4hwa.com

Bringing Together Global Bicycles For Humanity Chapters

Our global grassroots bicycle empowerment movement has begun working together more closely than ever. And it’s just the beginning!

Sparked by the recent and tragic passing of Pat Montani, founder of Bicycles for Humanity, volunteers from Bicycles for Humanity chapters around the world are coming together virtually to explore how to sustain the global organisation and work together to create an even bigger impact.

“This is something that we have been trying to instigate for many years, but it never eventuated”, said Andy Gild, co-founder of Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne. “We hope to develop closer connections between the different chapters, to share ideas and possibly even resources.”

Pat started Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne 15 years ago as a global grassroots movement that recognised the important role which mobility plays in empowering individuals and communities. Since then, 50 global chapters (some small, some larger) have been established under his watch, and the Bicycles for Humanity movement continues to gain momentum.

By unlocking the value of recycled bicycles, Bicycles for Humanity is mobilising volunteers and supporters across the globe to create change in communities in need in Africa, Mexico, Central America, Asia and Australia.

Andy is optimistic about the opportunities these collaborations offer: “By bringing together Bicycles for Humanity volunteers from across the globe, we can ensure Pat’s legacy is supported into the future and that his dream of empowering people and improving lives, through the simple bicycle, becomes the dream of many more”.

Volunteers plan to meet again towards the end of July. The focus will initially be on ensuring we develop capability to continue to mentor new chapters/interested parties, revising the global Bicycles for Humanity website and sharing fundraising ideas, which is the biggest challenge for all.

Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne Packing Day – July 2021

We have missed our face to face connections with our extended Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne family. So we are calling on all our volunteers to come to help at our next packing day.

Please join us for the second COVID Safe packing session of 2021. 

When: Sunday 11th July 2021, 10am – 3pm

In the event of bad weather, an alternative date will be the following Sunday.

Where: Parkview Secure Self Storage, 359 Lower Dandenong Road, Dingley Village.

Please park on the street. Access is via the small gate adjacent to the main gate which will be closed on the day. 

COVID Safety:

Social distancing to be observed, however as we are out in the open, masks are optional. Volunteers will be required to sign in with QR code located on the main whiteboard. Alternatively, a paper registration list will be available. 

How: Register your interest via email here and please let us know if you have any specific BBQ dietary requirements.

What: Thanks to Kwan for putting together a behind the scenes time lapse video of what the packing day entails through the magic of Vimeo:

With Heavy Hearts – Honouring Pat Montani founder of the Global Bicycles for Humanity Movement

It is with tremendous sadness we share news of the sudden passing of the founder of the Global Bicycles for Humanity Movement, Pat Montani, after a short battle with cancer.

Pat was an inspiration to so many individuals and communities, across many continents.

Pat started Bicycles for Humanity from his home town of Whistler, Canada, in order to mobilise health care workers. Along the way, the focus became about mobility in general and helping others gain a better life. 

Over the past 15 years, under Pat’s watch, 50 chapters of Bicycles for Humanity volunteers have collected bicycles and sent them to partners in Africa, Mexico, Central America and Asia.

This led to Pat’s more recent work supporting communities in Africa with healthcare, education and tourism, mainly through the aid of technology. 

Pat was a driving force behind the formation of Bicycles for Humanity, Melbourne and a constant guide over our now 13 year journey.

Pat believed passionately in a grassroots model where volunteer groups in the developed world partner with communities in the developing world. This is something for which we at Bicycles for Humanity, Melbourne continue to strive. 

Our challenge now will be to bring together the global Bicycles for Humanity chapters in order to ensure Pat’s legacy lives on.

Pat’s story is an inspiring one. You can read the article about Pat’s life in Pique News Magazine online to find out more about this wonderful humanitarian.

There was also a tribute article to Pat in The Namibian newspaper by Bicycle Empowerment Network (BEN) Namibia.

Our hearts and thoughts are with Pat’s wife Brenda, their family and friends at this difficult time. 

Rest in Peace.

Jamie Brindle of Bicycles for Humanity WA Finalist in Spirit of Volunteering Award

Jamie Brindle, Bicycles for Humanity Western Australia (WA) Founder and Operations Coordinator has been named a finalist in the 2021 Spirit of Volunteering Award, which is sponsored by ABC Radio and is part of the WA Volunteer of the Year Awards organised by Volunteering WA.  The winner will be announced during National Volunteer Week at the WA Volunteer of the Year Awards Dinner on 20th May.

Some supporters may have heard Jamie’s interview with Russell Woolf that was broadcast on ABC Radio Perth at 7:30am 29th March.

Jamie was one of the two original founders of Bicycles for Humanity WA in 2011. It was through Jamie’s enthusiasm and drive that Bicycles for Humanity WA was established and has thrived.  Jamie has shown exceptional dedication and hard work over the past 10 years to achieve all that has been achieved by Bicycles for Humanity WA.

The ABC’s Spirit of Volunteering Award is determined by popular vote – Please show your support for Jamie and Bicycles for Humanity WA by voting for him at:

https://www.abc.net.au/radio/perth/spirit-of-volunteering-wa/13271454

Voting closes Friday 23 April and is limited to one vote per person.

For more information about the WA Volunteer of the Year Awards dinner on the 20th May go to:

https://www.volunteeringwa.org.au/event/7764/wa-volunteer-of-the-year-awards

Applications Open for Volunteer Roles at Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne

Do you have experience in managing social media channels, marketing or running fundraising campaigns? Would you like to volunteer your time, experience and skills for a registered charity organisation based in Melbourne?

If so, Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne is currently looking to fill 2 volunteer roles in our Marketing and Communications team. Application are open now for the following volunteer roles:

Social Media Lead

This role is part of our volunteer operations team.

We have an exciting opportunity for a Social Media Lead to join our Marketing and Communications team to design and implement our social media strategy.

Your role will see you collaborating with all areas of the organisation to drive awareness, engagement and promote our brand on all our social channels.

Our social media, communications and marketing team is looking to build on our current reach. You will have the opportunity to expand our existing supporter base, reaching new areas and people for awareness, support and growth.

Your energy and enthusiasm to enable further growth, to achieve our targets, and work flexibly to support our committee will be highly regarded and warmly welcomed.

Bicycles for Humanity is located in Melbourne, VIC. Your volunteering location is flexible; work online from wherever you are.

Visit the SEEK Volunteer link for this role to find out more and apply: https://www.volunteer.com.au/volunteering/163075/social-media-lead

Marketing and Campaign Manager

This role is part of our management committee team.

We have an exciting opportunity for a Marketing and Campaign manager to join our Marketing and Communications team to design and implement on the Marketing and Campaign strategy.

Your role will see you collaborating with all areas of the organisation to drive awareness, increase engagement and support fundraising activities and events.

Our social media, communications and marketing team is looking to build on our current reach. You will have the opportunity to expand our existing supporter base, reaching new areas and people for awareness, support and growth.

Your energy and enthusiasm to enable further growth, to achieve our targets, and work flexibly to support our committee will be highly regarded and warmly welcomed. Depending on your skill and experience, you may be offered a role on the Committee.

Visit the SEEK Volunteer link for this role to find out more and apply: https://www.volunteer.com.au/volunteering/163074/marketing-and-campaign-manager-management-committee-member

BEST Programme Bicycle Deliveries to Bicycle Workshops in Namibia

Enjoy these shorts videos, put together by volunteer Kwan Toh, showing the recent delivery of bicycles to Health Care workers from the Kavango and Bukalo Bike Shops in the Zambezi region of Namibia.

Bukalo Bike Shop

Hear Christine Namushi Matomola, who teaches disease prevention at the Catholic Aids Action’s Soup Kitchen, share her lovely words of thanks.

Vavango Bike Shop

Supporting Namibian locals through BEST Covid-19 Program

Thanks to the hard work of our partner organisation, Bicycle Empowerment Network Namibia (BEN)Eliakim Elago Ipinge and Ngulura Smasiku are among the first entrepreneurs in Namibia to receive donated bicycles through Bicycles for Humanity’s BEST programme.

Eliakim is 49 years old and lives in Swakopmund at the Namibian coast. He had a good job at a local factory before the pandemic struck, but in order to keep the factory open, he and other workers agreed to a 50% cut in their wages. For younger workers, the cut was not so drastic, but Eliakim is 49, and supports 9 children and his elderly parents with his income. The pandemic has been very tough on Eliakim and his family, and one of the costs that he cut was taxis to and from work (there is no public transport in Swakopmund), meaning that he lost 2 hours a day walking.

With a bicycle, Eliakim now has more time and energy for his family, as well as the potential to supplement his income with mobile sales and deliveries.

Ngulura lives in Bukalo village in north eastern Namibia. He is 31 years old and has one child. Each month he survives on the Namibian minimum wage, equivalent to AUD$126, and has no money to spare for savings for an item like a bicycle. 

Bicycles for Humanity’s BEST programme has given Ngulura access to a bicycle to help him access new employment opportunities and generate income through delivery as well as sale of hand sanitisers and masks. 

Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne Packing Day – February 2021

We have missed our face to face connections with our extended Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne family. So we are calling on all our volunteers to come to help at our next packing day.

Please join us for the first COVID Safe packing session of 2021. 

When: Sunday 28th February 2021, 10am – 3pm

In the event of inclement weather/extremes of heat, an alternative date will be the following Sunday.

Where: Parkview Secure Self Storage, 359 Lower Dandenong Road, Dingley Village.

Please park on the street. Access is via the small gate adjacent to the main gate which will be closed on the day. 

How: Register your interest via email here and please let us know if you have any specific BBQ dietary requirements.

COVID Safety:

Social distancing to be observed, however as we are out in the open, masks optional. Volunteers will be required to sign in with QR code located on the main whiteboard. Alternatively, paper registration list will be available. 

What: Thanks to Kwan for putting together a behind the scenes time lapse video of what the packing day entails through the magic of Vimeo: