Who are we?
Prodigal Bikes is a small charity based in the south west of England. We collect unwanted mountain bikes, refurbish them, and export them to remote parts of Africa, where they are given to people to enable access primarily to education and healthcare. The bikes are overhauled in the UK by ex-offenders, long term unemployed people and excluded school children to help them re-engage with education and employment. To date the charity has shipped 120 bikes to Kenya and 10 bikes to Malawi. In the 18 months since our first shipment our mechanics in Africa have kept nearly all of the bikes running with the others being used for spare parts, but this is only scratching the surface of the need.
Our work with bikes in the UK means:
- Valuable work experience
- The satisfaction of doing something worthwhile
- A place of refuge without judgement
- A place to find friends
- Inspiration to do something more
- A chance to become a bike nut like the rest of us at Prodigal Bikes!
Our work with bikes in Kenya means:
- Access to medicine that would otherwise be too far away
- Children not walking to or from school in the dark
- Jobs for our newly trained bike mechanics
- Transportation of goods to market
- Health visitors can cover a larger area
Why are we Crowdfunding?
It is vital that we gather the funds to send our next shipment of bikes out to Kenya. We are sending out a container filled with 125 bikes, plus spares, tools, and maintenance manuals. Our UK work depends upon having a clear workshop space; currently filled to capacity with bikes! The need out in Kenya is huge and our bike mechanics urgently need resupplied with spares and tools and new bikes. The bikes are given out free of charge to schools and health clinics and anyone else our partner charity recommends through their long term experience in the area and contacts.
What do we need?
We need £6,000 to send the shipment. That's roughly £50 a bike. To put that in real terms:
- 20 coffee's to send a bike.
- 13 beers
- 1 tank of petrol
We think its worth it, do you? Go on, buy us a beer...
What difference can you make?
By pledging your support you will be enabling Prodigal Bikes to continue to train individuals in basic hands-on engineering. We have set up a permanent workshop where we refurbish and store the bikes and have a small but dedicated team of volunteers that help us with our work. This work gives these individuals a huge boost and sense of fulfilment and can help and inspire them towards further training and employment. Taking people away from re-offending and helping them towards self-sustaining lives, with rewarding fulfilling employment, is proven to reduce crime in our communities.
Where do the bikes go?
In Kenya our partner charity, Akamba Aid Fund, ensure we can get the bikes to where they are needed most. Akamba's many years of experience in the area allows the bikes to get to the schools, medical clinics and families who could best use them. If you want to see what it's like in Gai, an area in north east Kenya where Akamba work, and also meet some of the people the bikes go to watch this video created by Akamba:
Prodigal Bikes have expanded Akamba's amazing work by providing bikes that currently help seven schools and a health clinic. At Nzalani Primary school, for example, our bikes are helping children and a teacher travel 8km to and from school each day. The bikes have also enabled a patient at Tie Wai Yesu HIV clinic to make a regular 25km round trip for his lifesaving medication where this was just not possible before.
Interested in our work?
To find out more about us and the work that we do please visit http://www.prodigalbikes.co.uk/