Component maker SRAM and bike manufacturer Trek have teamed up to found World Bicycle Relief, an organisation that aims to supply bikes to victims of the December 26 tsunami that killed 200,000 and left over a million homeless in the Pacific region.
The appeal aims to buy bike to help with the third and longest phase of the disaster recovery operation - returning affected people to independence and livelihood. "According to feedback from relief organizations in the field, bicycles will measurably assist in returning adult refugees to independence and in re-establishing their livelihood. Bikes will also assist children, many of whom now have increased commutes, to stay in school," says SRAM's FK Day.
In partnership with World Vision, one of the largest non-governmental organisations, and local government, 24,400 men, women and children in greatest need have been selected to receive bikes. The selection process included basic economic and commercial needs, distance to work, and distance to schools. Bikes will be a catalyst that will help this group rebuild their communities, find work and in the case of children, stay in school.
To fund this initiative, World Bicycle Relief is aiming to raise $1.7 million. Donations of more than $10,000 each have already been received from SRAM, Trek, Specialized, Cycle Europe, VivaTerra, Quality Bicycle Products, Giant, Accell Group, Phophete, GT Bicycles, Inc., Bob Perkowitz and Lisa Renstrom, F.K. Day, and Stan Day.
For more information and to make a donation, see www.worldbicyclerelief.org.