Over the past 25 years, the world has witnessed the largest reduction of poverty in human history. Despite this remarkable progress, today, nearly a billion people risk being left behind. A majority are women and girls living in rural areas, far from the nearest paved road, unable to access key poverty reduction resources including education, healthcare, agricultural outreach, and other critical government services.
"Mobility is the lifeblood of communities. It's not just about building roads, it's empowering people." Makhtar Diop, Vice President for Infrastructure at World Bank
LEAVING NO ONE BEHIND
Since 2005, World Bicycle Relief has collaborated with thousands of communities to connect hard-working rural women, men, girls, and boys with the services and opportunities they need to thrive. We have demonstrated more than 594,000 times in 21 countries that our purpose-designed durable Buffalo Bicycle - with a carrier capacity of 100kg - can help reduce inequity and change the trajectory of individuals, families, and communities. Our Buffalo Bicycles are a powerful tool that support rural economic development, promote gender equality,and foster environmentally sustainable transportation systems.
In rural communities around the world, cut off from resources, services, and markets, our Buffalo Bicycle is more than a vehicle - it is a productive asset that can be used to launch or expand businesses, access clinics, schools and markets, and realize dreams.
That’s why World Bicycle Relief’s approach prioritizes women and girls. We aim for 70 percent of participants receiving our bicycles to be female, and we prioritize women in leadership roles within the program. This positions women as capable and responsible community leaders, and boosts access to critical services. In their hands, the Buffalo Bicycle is a transformative asset that can improve their standing in their homes, communities, and their own mind’s eye. Where girls make long daily walks for water and firewood - with climate change now extending the distance they travel - our bicycle can help them do their chores faster and stay in school. Where women face barriers to accessing education, livelihoods, economic opportunities, and healthcare, our bicycle can serve as an empowering lifeline.
MOBILIZED COMMUNITIES: THE CATALYST FOR RURAL EMPOWERMENT
World Bicycle Relief doesn’t simply create opportunities one bicycle at a time. Rather, we partner with communities that create change at scale through integrated, multi-year programming. Here’s how:
COMMUNITY MOBILITY NEEDS ASSESSMENT
Our iterative approach starts with an assessment of each community's needs and an analysis of potential impact of our programming. Each community contributes to the design of its own program, adapting and adjusting as needed over the length of our multi-year partnership, with the goal of optimizing long-term impact.
Our field team helps local leaders establish a Bicycle Supervisory Committee, which identifies how to distribute bicycles to optimize impact. This approach means communities do not just gain access to previously out-of-reach opportunities. They also begin creating opportunities—together, as a community.
World Bicycle Relief doesn’t simply give out bicycles and walk away. Program participants are selected by their community’s Bicycle Supervisory Committee based on their role in their community, the distances they travel, and the impact a bicycle will have on their daily tasks.
Each participant enters into a time-bound term agreement with their Bicycle Supervisory Committee and owns the bike when they have achieved their specified requirements, such as finishing their studies, providing health or economic services, or supporting community development initiatives.
FOCUS ON WOMEN AND GIRLS
Bicycles can help empower women and girls to take charge of their futures. With access to bicycles, women and girls unlock their potential and focus on education, feel safer, obtain vital healthcare services and achieve greater earning potential. That’s why World Bicycle Relief aims to direct 70% of Buffalo Bicycles to women and girls.
Trained by Buffalo Bicycle Limited and paid by the community, local mechanics maintain and repair participant bicycles. Mechanics access training and spare parts through our network of local Buffalo Bicycle retail shops and facilities.
THRIVING IN A MOBILIZED COMMUNITY
DAIRY FARMERS DELIVER 23 PERCENT MORE MILK AND INCREASE THEIR INCOMES BY23 PERCENT WITH A BUFFALO BICYCLE.
COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS SERVE 88 PERCENT MORE PATIENTS WHEN THEY USE A BIKE TO SPEED THEIR TRAVELS BETWEEN PATIENTS.
GIRL STUDENTS REDUCED THEIR ABSENTEEISM BY 28 PERCENTWITH A BUFFALO BICYCLE.