In southwest Africa, the needs are great and the resources are few. In the summer following my sophomore year of high school, I traveled to Namibia to work on a game ranch. While there, through working side by side on the ranch and in the local butcher shop, and traveling to markets, I got to know many of the more than 100 local families the ranch supported. What I learned is that the people are generous, welcoming, hard working and resourceful and that the simple things we take for granted, like a bike, can change lives. When I came home to Nashville I wanted to Make a Difference.
So, I teamed up with our family friend and founder of Wheels of Change International, Dan Austin of Austin Adventures, along with our partner Michael Linke, founder of the Bicycling Empowerment Network Namibia (BEN Namibia) in Namibia to found the Wheels of Change chapter here in Tennessee.
Each year, in the United States, millions of bicycles end up in landfills. At Wheels of Change, we collect used bicycles and repurpose them to boost local economies, improve education access, enable people to get to work, and facilitate health care delivery. Here, the bicycles are collected, loaded into shipping containers, and shipped to Africa. Upon arrival, the containers are turned into sustainable bike shops where locals are trained in bike mechanics and business skills. Take a look at our work in action.
* Wheels of Change TN is an IRS approved 501 (c)(3) tax exempt, non-profit, charitable organization, so your donation is tax deductible.