Bicycling for many people is a form of recreation, exercise or even a way to commute to work and save some money. For many people, especially third world countries, the bicycle is a life saving tool.
In some African countries the bicycle is used by medical workers to take life extending AIDS medication to the sick. In these countries you will also see the bicycle used as an ambulance. Recently in the Philippines a tropical storm passed through the area and flooded many parts of the area. A father was photographed by the Associated Press riding his bike with his two young children on with him. The father was not riding his bike recreationally, he was escaping the floods. His bicycle allowed him to save his childrens lifes.
This picture invokes the true passion of bicycles. The bicycle was not originally invented for recreation. It was invented for transportation. The bicycle rapidly became a tool of recreation among the social elite and wealthier members of our society. Bicycles were expensive compared to today. The social influx of bicycles among the social elite has radically changed. Sure you see wealthy individuals riding an extravagantly priced road racing bikes that can cost over $10,000 but the lower end of the spectrum brings us the affordable bicycles used by many in third world countries. The life saving tool we call the bicycle is affordable by many poorer people in the world and is their primary form of transportation. A $300 bicycle is considered very inexpensive to us Americans but in many third world countries where the people are happy if they can earn a dollar a day a $300 bicycle is out of their price range.
If a medical worker in a third world country has to walk to their patients homes they may only be able to see their patients occasionally. If the same medical worker has a reliable bicycle they can transport medical necessary supplies to many more patients and visit them more often and on a more reliable schedule.
This is where programs such as Konas Africa Bike come into action. Bikes in third world nations allow medical workers to get life saving medication to the patients, midwives are able to get to their patient in time to help secure a safe birth of the child, by entrepreneurs who are able to cycle their wares to public markets, and for poverty stricken children who live 15+ miles from their school a chance to ride to school as opposed to walking which many third world kids are forced to do if they want to attend school and have any chance at all of a better future secured through education.
Kona's program for bikes to Africa is a way for us to help out while benefiting ourselves. Kona sells a bike called the Kona Africa Bike. For every two bikes the company sells they donate one bike to a third world country where there is a need for the bicycle.
The Kona bike for Africa is heavy. It is designed perfectly for it's intended purpose. It is a simple design that is very functional for it's intended purpose. The intended purpose is all of the reasons mentioned above. This year Kona will be shipping the donated bikes to various Sub Saharan African countries. The Kona Bike is designed for health care workers. These people do not have bike shops available so the Africa Bike is designed to be sturdy, functional, and very long lasting.
Bicycles are a life saving tool for many people, and buying a Kona Africa Bike is one way we can help support the impoverished by providing sturdy, functional bicycles for transportation.