Posted: Apr 14, 2013 8:48 PM by MTN News
BILLINGS - More than 400 bikes will travel from Billings to Africa on a three month journey as part of non-profit international program.
The Wheels of Change takes new and used bikes to help provide mobility to Africans.
This shipment, led by Austin-Lehman Adventures, will be shipped to Namibia.
The shipping container filled with bikes, spare parts, and tools serves also as a sustainable business model, creating local jobs for the bicycle business.
"We choose six or seven locals to actually train them on everything from bike mechanics to business 101. We teach them how to run a checking account, we teach them how to balance a checkbook, we teach them how to order parts. So we help them for about 18 months," said Dan Austin, Director of Wheels of Change.
"We give them all the support they need. After 18 months, we're planning they will be self-sufficient."
Profits are reinvested in several other community projects for the area of Namibia. Those projects include growing food for AIDS orphans, fostering small enterprises with micro loans, school uniforms, and assisting with costs of school for children.
Donations of bikes or parts will be accepted at 5 p.m. near the ZooMontana entrance.