For those of us that live in cities bikes are often a way of getting around. From your apartment to work, the grocery store, the movies. For many people a bike is their exercise, it keeps them healthy. As a kid growing up in the countryside my bike was entertainment. For thousands of people around the world bicycles mean a livelihood, a secure future and for many girls the gift of a bike could mean gender equality. I just heard about this great non profit 88bikes, they are a group that collects donations of $88 from willing donors, travels to remote developing communities, purchases and assembles bikes with the donations and then gives them to deserving children around the world.
As I've learned through other bicycle-based non profits like Worldbike and Zambikes, bicycles can improve the lives of people in developing countries immensely. A bike to a child in a remote village to Africa could mean the chance to go to school. A bike to a craftsman in a remote village in India could mean being able to sell their goods at the market in town that is too far to walk to. A bike for someone who has fallen ill could mean a life-saving trip to a far away medical clinic. A bike requires no gasoline, little maintenance, provides exercise, enjoyment and equality.
So as 88bikes embarks on their next mission to provide thousands of bikes to young girls from Eastern Europe to Southeast Asia who have been the victims of slavery, abuse and the sex trade I wish them luck with their venture. To the thousands of girls who will be receiving these bikes, along with photos of those people that donated toward them, I wish a future bright with the freedom that their bike provides them and hope for equality and peace.