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Re-cycle celebrates 20 years of sending bikes to Africa

Posted on in Cycles News

Re-Cycle, a bicycle re-cycling charity based in Colchester, is celebrating its 20th year of sending bikes to people who truly need them in Africa.

The charity was first formed by a single bike enthusiast in response to Haiti's terrible natural disaster in 1997, which destroyed 80 percent of Haiti's crops whilst killing more than 400 people. With a desire to help people in disadvantaged parts of the world, Re-Cycle set about working to providing the much needed transport to people who needed it.

With help from the local community and Colchester Borough Council, in July 1998 Re-Cycle finally had enough bikes to fill a container.

To guarantee the donated bikes would be used in the most impactful way, Re-Cycle developed a relationship with Afribike, a charity in South Africa created to provide free bikes and bike repairs to poor rural residents so that they could access jobs and other opportunities outside their local area.

Today, Re-cycle has sent 98,403 bikes to 15 of the poorest countries in Africa. Each bike sent is (on average) used by 6 people in its lifetime, meaning Re-Cycle has touched the lives of almost 600,000 people.

Claire Kettle, Re-Cycle's Operations Manager spoke about their achievements and why the charity is still going strong: "We are all very proud to be celebrating our 20th Anniversary. It's not easy to get the containers out to our partners in Africa but we have done some amazing work other the last 20 years. Not only limited to sending bikes but also building workshops and providing bicycle maintenance training in Africa too. There is still a massive need for sustainable transport in places like Ghana and Gambia, so we are aiming to send 100,000 bikes to Africa by the end of this month. To help us reach this milestone, please think about donating your disused bike to Re-Cycle this summer. Many people in Africa still have no access to transport of any kind and people spend hours each day walking to collect water or to get to school or employment. A bike makes such a big difference."

To donate a bike to Re-Cycle, go to their website www.re-cycle.org to find your nearest drop-off point or visit their warehouse at Unit 8, The Grove Estate, Wormingford, Colchester, Essex, CO6 3AJ.

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