Posted by Vince Costantino on Sep 15, 2019
Rotarian Bob DeBijl introduced Neville Pollard.
Neville is with the Mandurah Districts Rotary Club, and is the area coordinator for the Bicycles for Humanity project.
Bicycles for Humanity International (B4H) is a world wide, grass roots, volunteer run organisation focused on simple, sustainable empowerment in the developing world. The group does this in the most transparent and practical way – by sending used donated bikes from the developed world to our partner organisations in various countries in need. Countries in Africa which have been supplied with bicycles have been Namibia, South Africa, Uganda and Kenya.
A bike allows someone to travel twice as far, twice as fast and to carry four times the load.
In the countries in which receive the bicycles, a bike can mean access to education, health care, fresh water, economic opportunity and community. Breaking the cycle of poverty by providing sustainable transport for one person, impacts not only their life, but also the lives of their families, communities and future generations.
Now a team of part time volunteers is working in Perth collecting bikes, preparing them for shipment, packing them in containers, raising much needed funding for container and shipping costs, AND having fun doing it. B4H WA shipped its first container of bikes to Namibia in October 2011. The team has set itself a goal of 2 shipments per year, thereafter.
There are approximately 400 bikes with spare parts and tools in each shipment which is transported to Africa. On arrival the sea container in which the cycles are transported becomes a working shed/business for the community from which the bikes are supplied to people in the community. The bikes are sold at low cost (and even free to those who cannot afford it). The communities supplied are identified by non government organisations.
The money made from the business is directed back into the community to support needs such as young women recovering from having been victims of sex slavery, patients recovering from HIV infections. The establishment of these small sustainable business, helps to break the cycle of poverty in these communities by supplying a viable inexpensive means of transport. 
A Bikes for Humanity hub was set up in Mandurah, supported by the Rotary Club of Mandurah Districts. So far, B4H has dispatched 14 containers overseas; 5200 bikes have been sent from Western Australia. In addition, over 1000 bikes have been provided to remote Northern communities in W.A.
The bikes are collected from individual donors, verge collections and rubbish resource centres. The bicycles are then refurbished locally before they are shipped to Midland for shipment or distribution. Each container costs $10000 to ship but other charities including World Vision assist with these costs. 
The bikes collected for Africa are generally 20-inch and above, but smaller bikes can end up in the mix that is delivered. Locally, the Aboriginal kids love BMX style bikes and these smaller bikes get shipped to the Northern communities. 

The Rotary Club of Mandurah Districts B4H project also aligned with the group Squared Away, which supports men with mental health problems. Squared Away assisted with the refurbishment, but the volume of bikes has been overwhelming. The project is now looking for storage and a larger centre for refurbishment.


A great source for good quality bikes has been from retirement villages where bikes are often stored away and never used. Bicycles which are unclaimed from the West Australian Police Force's recovery process are being donated to this cause. Further support and assistance comes from Rotary Clubs and Cycling Clubs. The refurbishment process is basic with no major maintenance required. If bikes unsuitable for repair, they are used for spare parts which in turn supports the economic viability of the project.


Ray Cope thanked Neville for his overview of the Bikes for Humanity Project and the great work being done.