If someone asked you what invention from the 19th century still maintains the basic shape and configuration as it’s original model, and was responsible for dramatically impacting cultures both socially and economically – what would you think of? Hint: it’s estimated that there are over one billion of them in the world.
That’s right – a bicycle. Most of us can remember at least our first bike, if not more than one that we had as a kid. It was a ticket to freedom, and accelerated our exploration of the world around us.
If you’ve traveled in developing countries you’ve witnessed how fundamental to basic transportation and livelihoods a bicycle can be. That’s why when we came across 88bikes.org we were excited to see an organization that endows young people in orphanages, ashrams, refugee camps and villages with this basic means of transportation which can help them recover happiness and their childhoods.
Founded in 2006, 88bikes has completed projects in places such as Cambodia, Uganda, Peru, India, Nepal, Vietnam, China and Mongolia. This years project is 88bikes ASHA 2012 which is providing bicycles to girls living in an ashram run by their NGO partner in Bihar, India. The girls are survivors of sexual slavery and after being sheltered at the ashram, they are reintegrated back into the community. ASHA means ‘hope’ in Sanskrit, which is what the bikes can represent to the girls.
It’s important to remember that what we often take for granted is often a catalyst for hope, healing and happiness. “You can go anywhere” is a not just part of a mission statement, but a promise with a powerful impact.
For more information on 88bikes, click here.