24 Year International Grand Total 138,427 and 2,507 Sewing Machines. 2013 totals: 1,542 bikes and 106 sewing machines
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May 18th marked the shipment of the 52nd container of bicycles to EcoBici in Rivas, Nicaragua. Our relationship with this organization is the longest in our 23 years of partnership building. This current delivery contains 580 bikes that add to the 22,044 cycles already in circulation in the region and will contribute to the organization's goal of community development and focus on enabling much-needed reforestation in the region.
P4P is also pleased to add 6 sewing machines to the container shipment. Our readers are of course already familiar with the Clif Bar Family Foundation's steady and generous support of our programs and so it is not unexpected that the shipping and import taxes have been covered by them. What is new here is that the sewing machines are destined for a different locale in the region. In April, we were contacted by Noelle London, a Peace Corps volunteer who is involved in small business development in Nicaragua. London wrote that she lives on Ometepe, an island close to Rivas. This island, situated on Lake Nicaragua, is steadily becoming a tourist destination and she informed us that, currently, most of the souvenirs visitors purchase there tend to be made in Granada or Masaya.
London informed us that, with reliable and efficient tools, the local women could develop a thriving base of manufacture in their community of Balgüe: "They have begun to sell in a couple of locations on the island and even in a fair in Managua but are unable to keep up with the current demand as they only have 3 working machines."
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Pedals for Progress is pleased to announce the initiation of a new sewing-machine project in West Africa. Rural Development through Action (RUDA), located in Limbe, Cameroon, plans to create skills-training programs for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) and women in need of economic opportunities. P4P is proud to be aligned with yet another nonprofit, non-governmental organization that supports community development and shares practical ways in which people can address both
environmental and human-rights issues. Made possible by a grant from the Clif Bar Family Foundation, the first shipment left on April 9th and contains 15 sewing machines earmarked for RUDA’s workshops where these students will endeavor to become self-employed dressmakers and tailors.
Every year, affluent Americans buy 18 million new bicycles and discard millions of old ones, abandoning many more unused in basements, sheds, and garages. Most of these end up in our already overburdened landfills. Meanwhile, poor people overseas need cheap, non-polluting transportation to get to jobs, markets, customers, and schools. Pedals for Progress has received, processed and donated over 130,000 bicycles, 2,000 used sewing machines and $10.8 million in new spare parts to partner charities in 38 developing world countries. Pedals for Progress isn't just donating used bicycles: It's also helping developing world economies by promoting self-sustaining bicycle repair businesses.
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