Village Bicycle Project works tirelessly to find good quality bicycles for our programs, relying on donated bikes from the United States, Canada, and Europe. These bicycles are sent to Ghana and Sierra Leone by VBP and by our partner organizations who understand the impact bicycles can have. Each 40′ shipping container transports approximately 450 bikes.
Once the bikes arrive in Africa, 150 of the best bikes are reserved for our One Day Maintenance Workshops. VBP staff examine the bikes, checking for imperfections, and making necessary repairs. Our staff takes pride in offering bicycles that are in excellent working condition so that riders have the best start with their bike.
The One Day Maintenance Workshops are free and allow participants to purchase one of our bikes at about one third of the market price. The skills learned in the workshop give the new owner the knowledge needed to keep the bike in good condition, and to know when to seek help from the village bike repairer.
The rest of the bikes from the container are sold to local bike retailers to pay the cost of shipping the container to Africa, currently about $5000. These bikes serve our mission by increasing the supply of bikes in Africa, helping them become an accepted mode of affordable transportation.
Why do we sell the bikes to repair workshop participants?
This is a fundamental question of development. Giving away bikes (or anything) diminishes the value and can flood the market, which can put local merchants out of business. Free bikes often do not end up in the possession of people who will put them to the best use. Also, by selling discounted bikes, we can deliver three bikes for the same price as giving one bike away for free.