Sydney's bikes set sail to Africa

This week I was proud to place the final second-hand bike in a shipping container bound for Africa.

Bikes for Humanity - a volunteer organisation - have collected hundreds of unused second hand bikes from around Sydney and with the support of Lend Lease and Maersk Line they will be shipped to Namibia.

In Sydney, we are working hard to make riding a bike a safe and attractive option, but for other communities around the world riding a bike can be a life changing or life saving experience.

For many communities in Africa bicycles are the cheapest, most effective and most reliable form of transport. For women in particular, having a bicycle can make an incredible difference. A bike can carry up to five times the weight and travel four times as fast - saving energy and making daily life easier.

The shipping container filled by Bikes for Humanity will be renovated into a Bicycle Empowerment Centre that will house a bike store and maintenance workshop. At these Centres apprentice mechanics will be trained and employed and the community can buy affordable, quality bikes and have them serviced and repaired.

At least 30 bikes from the shipment are provided directly to health care workers, meaning they can see more patients and support can be delivered to patients in far flung remote areas.

This is not the only container of bikes heading to a community in need. If you have a bike that you no longer need, Bikes for Humanity will have another collection day on May 26.

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