Namibia’s needy are set to benefit from the generosity of Southern Highlands residents with the imminent arrival of a shipping container of second-hand bicycles.
Bidding farewell to the shipping container packed with hundreds of bikes was Wingecarribee Shire Councillor Gordon Markwart and Bicycles for Change volunteers Hans Radowitz and Bob Clark.
“This container is the culmination of months of work from the volunteers from Bicycles for Change,” Councillor Markwart said.
“In fact it’s actually the fifth container load of bicycles that have been restored at Council’s Resource Recovery Centre.
“Not only are the volunteers repairing bicycles that will ultimately help those less fortunate than us but they are also saving hundreds of bikes from being scrapped or crushed,” he said.
“It’s a wonderful effort and one that Council is extremely proud to be involved with.”
Bicycles for Change is a global volunteer group whose purpose is to recycle bikes to provide to overseas communities in need. The local branch works out of Council’s Resource Recovery Centre (RRC).
Bicycles for Change spokesperson Hans Radowitz explained where the bikes would be used.
“The majority of the bikes are shipped to areas in southern Africa where they are used to assist health care and education workers cover distances which would normally be travelled by foot,” he said.
“Even the containers are beneficially re-used and converted into bicycle repair shops once they arrive at their destination.”
Since starting in 2010 Mr Radowitz and his fellow volunteers estimate they have restored some 2,000 bicycles donated from across the Shire.
“I reckon I’ve repaired just about every make and model bicycle out there,” he laughed. “But it’s the generosity of our Shire’s residents that still surprises us.”
“The volume of bikes that comes out of our Southern Highlands branch is amongst the highest in the country.”
The launch of the latest container of bicycles coincides with a contribution of $1000 by Council towards the cost of transporting the container overseas.
Mr Radowitz said as soon as the latest container left the premises a new one would take its place.
“We’re not resting on our laurels and we already have plans in place to fill another Council-sponsored container,” he said.
“We accept all types of bikes but given the conditions they’ll be used in overseas, mountain bikes are the most sought after.”
In addition to bicycles, collapsible wheelchairs, crutches and walkers are also accepted.
Bicycles and wheelchairs can be dropped off free-of-charge at the Resource Recovery Centre during normal business hours.
For more information visit bicyclesforchange.com or phone 4883 7262.
Bicycles for Change is a registered NSW charity and incorporated association staffed by volunteers.