This is the
VOA Special English Development Report.
bought an estimated eighteen and a half million bicycles last year. Some bikes
never get much riding. Mostly they gather dust. But a project based in Washington
is putting unwanted bikes from the United States to good use in developing
Oberg is the director of Bikes for the World.
OBERG: "Everybody has an old bicycle, and it is usually not ridden. It
sits there in the garage, or basement or shed, going to waste."
Stephen Popick recently had two bikes to
POPICK: "I brought in two mountain bikes that my wife and I have ridden
for the past ten years. My bikes wouldn't fetch a nice price and wouldn't be
worth trying to sell, but they could be useful to somebody else."
Bikes for the
World collects bicycles and delivers them at low cost to community programs in
developing countries. It shipped more than five thousand bikes during the first
eight months of this year. Last year it shipped about ten thousand three
recycling program is one of the largest in the United States. It is a sponsored
project of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association.
Bikes for the World began
in two thousand five. Since then it has shipped more than forty thousand bikes
to communities in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, says director Keith
OBERG: "We work currently with partners in seven countries actively -- in
Uganda, Ghana. We're talking to an organization that we would like to ship to
in Liberia. We have shipped to Namibia and the Gambia in the past. And in
Central America we ship to Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, and we are
talking to two organizations in El Salvador."
the World partners with nonprofit groups in the United States to collect unwanted
bikes. Then it works with nonprofits in the other countries to get the bikes to
organizations and individuals that need them the most.
For example, the Bicycle Empowerment
Network Namibia uses the bikes to provide transportation for health workers.
That makes it possible for them to visit more patients each day. The
organization also has bicycle ambulance services to transport the sick.
Empowerment Network also provides training and support to help local organizations
and individuals open bike shops of their own. The businesses sell the recycled
bikes at low cost and provide repair services. Many of the organizations use
the money they earn to help pay for other community projects.
And that's the VOA Special English
Development Report, written by June Simms with additional reporting by Susan
Logue. You can learn about other organizations working in the developing world
at voaspecialenglish.com. And you can also find us on Twitter and YouTube at
VOA Learning English. I'm Steve Ember.