Apply to Join
May 25, 2018

A new partnership for electric bicycle ambulances

Neighbourhood watch volunteers receiving bicycles
Neighbourhood watch volunteers receiving bicycles

The solar ambulance project has been given a boost with a new partnership. The neighbourhood watch movement has grown enormously in the past five years, with thousands of volunteers providing support in their communities. These volunteers patrol areas that are prone to crime, and are particularly focussed on safety for women and children. Due to their presence and status in the community, these volunteers are often called on for other kinds of support, including during medical emergencies. 

Our partnership with the neighbourhood watch movement, which is coordinated by the Namibian Police, began last month with a donation of 29 bicycles to help community patrols extend their range. We have also put the first two electric bicycle ambulances under the care of the neighbourhood watch movement, and are looking forward to seeing the results.

The partnership addresses one of our main challenges with our previous work with (non-motorised) bicycle ambulances, which is community management. We relied on small community groups to manage the ambulances, and this was problematic in terms of resources to provide maintenance, addressing management issues, and monitoring and reporting on use.

We're hopeful that through the Neighbourhood Watch movement, and the enthusiasm we've seen from the Namibian Police, the bicycle ambulances will now reach further into Namibian communities, and be better managed even in the most far-flung locations.

An ambulance comes in for a service in Outapi
An ambulance comes in for a service in Outapi

Attachments:
    Feb 27, 2018

    Solar bicycle ambulance project update

    We aim to help deliver more healthy newborns.
    We aim to help deliver more healthy newborns.

    We have a little challenge with our solar ambulance project—everyone wants a ride! The fact that we limited the ambulance's use to emergency medical transport has raised some questions for us, and we’re thinking about ways to extend its potential. One of our focus areas as an organisation is on improving access to education, and no group faces more challenges in accessing education than pre-schoolers. Little legs simply can’t deal with Namibia’s long distances, and many children who don’t attend pre-school live with an education deficit the rest of their academic lives.

    To this end we’re looking to manufacture a multi-use vehicle in March that can carry pre-school children to kindergarten, as well as serving as an ambulance. This will be the first of its kind in Africa, and as far as we know, anywhere in the world! We already have interest from a number of pre-schools in our test zones, and hope to have more news in our next report.

    Speaking of bikes and education, one of our objectives with this project was to provide ordinary bicycles to healthcare workers. Through a partnership with Bicycles for Humanity Colorado, we’ve been able to provide 376 bicycles to 3 HIV-AIDS focussed healthcare groups. These groups also support orphans and vulnerable children, and a number of older children have benefitted through receiving bicycles to help them get to school, and have fun hanging out afterwards.

    Children also benefit from our healthcare projects
    Children also benefit from our healthcare projects
    A solar bicycle ambulance ready for action
    A solar bicycle ambulance ready for action
     
    WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.