Sustainable bike shop in Okalongo, Namibia

by Bicycles For Humanity - Atlanta, GA, Inc.
Rauha Heita - lead mechanic in Okalongo
Rauha Heita - lead mechanic in Okalongo

Hello there, wonderful supporters!

We hope that you are doing well! I am so pleased to write you today to let you know that we have received photographs from our project site in Okalongo, Namibia! Our BEC shipment (Bicycling Empowerment Center) provided a much needed expansion of the Tuyoleni Bicycle Project in Okalongo, Namibia, allowing extra workshop space and increased supplies of bikes and parts to the region.

Although Okalongo is in a very remote area, our partners on the ground in Namibia have worked diligently to get these photographs to us so that we can pass them along to you! Please enjoy, and know that you played a vital role in making this a reality! We cannot adequately express our gratitude, and look forward to our evaluation and support trip to Okalongo in May, where we will be able to provide more in depth updates and stories for you. Please always feel free to contact us if you have any questions or ideas, and thank you for your continued support of our efforts to transfer mobility and empowerment for our friends in Namibia!

Take care and all the best!

With thanks,
Mary Harwell
& the B4H GA family

Bicycle Repair in Action-B4HGA container on right
Bicycle Repair in Action-B4HGA container on right
Newly Arrived B4HGA Container (right) w/ First BEC
Newly Arrived B4HGA Container (right) w/ First BEC
Addl. BEC earnings used to benefit local projects
Addl. BEC earnings used to benefit local projects


Tuyoleni Bicycle Project, Okalongo, Namibia
Tuyoleni Bicycle Project, Okalongo, Namibia

Hello there, Wonderful Supporters!

We want to begin every update by saying THANK YOU for your tireless support and contagious generosity! We cannot say enough how this project would not be possible without people like you. Because of your efforts, a small community in Okalongo, Namibia now has an increased supply of bicycles and an expanded workshop. This means that the women who run this shop, who also help support home-healthcare workers offering care to individuals living with HIV/AIDS, now have increased revenue to provide for their families; that children in the area now have greater access to schooling and education; and families can practically and more efficiently gather food, water, and firewood for themselves.

Although, given technology and language constraints, direct communication with our friends in Okalongo is somewhat limited, we wanted to pass along a small, but significant update from the region. This update is from Michael Linke of the Bicycling Empowerment Network Namibia, whom we are honored to partner with on the ground in Africa. Rauha is a local elder and one of a few women who run the bicycle project in Okalongo. It is one of the only women-run businesses in the region.

  "I haven’t had any photos out of Okalongo yet, but....
  I can tell you that Rauha is very, very happy about the 
new container and its contents!"

How wonderful for the opportunity to touch the lives of individuals across the globe! We are anxious for the opportunity to travel to Okalongo to provide you all with reports and footage of all that your generosity is accomplishing. We are working diligently to raise the funds to cover the costs of plane tickets and expenses necessary to evaluate and monitor the project for continued accountability and transparency of the impact your donations have made. We are excited to announce plans to screen the B4H documentary, "Where on Earth is My Bike?" to raise funds in the Atlanta area in the coming months. We would love to hear your input and suggestions!

Please consider continued support of our project, and spreading the word to others! We cannot do what we do without each one of you. Please mark your calendars for October 19th, where, beginning at 12:01 a.m., GlobalGiving will be offering a 30% match of each donation, up to $1,000, until the grant is expended. Thank you for giving of yourselves so that others may find empowerment through the simple gift of mobility.

One bike can change one life. One life can change a community.


With gratitude,
Mary Fortson Harwell and the B4H GA family



Nearby homes in Okalongo, Namibia
Nearby homes in Okalongo, Namibia
Bicycle Project Staff preparing a local feast.
Bicycle Project Staff preparing a local feast.


Preparing to ship the bicycle-filled container...
Preparing to ship the bicycle-filled container...

As of Sunday, July 24th, and after months of hard work and with the amazing efforts of our volunteers, supporters, and wonderful B4H team, our bicycle-filled container has arrived in Walvis Bay, Namibia!! We are incredibly excited to see all of the wonderful things that the people of Okalongo are able to do with increased transportation and increased access to resources. Congratulations and many thanks to all of those who have partnered with us along the way! The container would not currently be in Namibia if it weren't for your efforts!

Our container will function as expanded workshop space for an already established bicycle project, multiplying their supply of bicycles and parts into the community. Transportation in the form of a bicycle has the ability to radically transform how these individuals function each day, as it has already begun to do so. Almost 2 out of every 10 people in Namibia has HIV/AIDS; malaria and other forms of preventable diseases are common and often leading causes of death. With simple tools and resources that have until recently been unavailable in many communities such as Okalongo, individuals and families can begin to write a different story about their futures.

Many have asked us, "Well, what happens now?" Before we move on to our next shipment, we want to first support and evaluate our project in Okalongo. We will continue to work hard to raise funds and will send at least two B4H GA staff members to Okalongo, Namibia to evaluate and monitor the project, and support the people of Okalongo. Our goal is to be able to definitively provide our donors with information on how their investments are being used, as well as visit communities where we may focus on sending our next shipment. Please consider continued support of the Okalongo, Namibia project..


Help us ship the bikes over the great blue yonder!
Help us ship the bikes over the great blue yonder!

Dear friends,

We hope this finds you and yours doing well and enjoying a wonderful Spring season! It has definitely proved to be an exciting time for Bicycles for Humanity Georgia, as we have officially set a shipment date for our container, for the week of May 23rd! We have notified our partners on the ground in Namibia, and our shipment of bikes will be lovingly accepted and transported to Okalongo, Namibia, where the community there will use it to grow their already present bicycle shop, provide transportation for children to get to school, provide bicycles for home health care workers bringing ARVs to HIV/AIDS patients, and provide employment and income for families and community projects....what an honor that we get to be a part of these people's lives!

Thank you to all who have given of their time, resources, and bicycles. This has been an incredible journey thus far, and we could NOT have done it without such a wonderful community of support! However, we are not through yet, and continue to raise funds and bicycles to support this project!

In order to send this shipment stuffed full and busting at the seams with as many bicycles as possible, we are holding one final bike drive with the goal of collecting 150 more mountain/all-terrain/non-paved road specific bicycles! For this to happen, we need your help. Please help us spread the word to your friends, colleagues, and churches. One bike can literally change the life of a person living in poverty, and it is such an easy, tangible, and sustainable way to give. Our final bike drive will be:

DATE: Saturday, May 21st 
TIME: Bike Drop off hours are from anytime between 9-5
LOCATION: the Fit2Tri Shop
1292 Thompson Bridge Road
Gainesville Ga 30501

If you are in the area and interested in volunteering at the bike drive, or if you are available to help prepare bikes for shipment and/or pack the Namibia-bound shipping container, please contact Mary at If you aren't in the area and would still like to help push us through these final months, please make your tax-deductible donation today!

Thank you again for all of your tireless month to go!!

The Bicycles for Humanity - Georgia Family


Dear friends, We hope that you all had a wonderful New Year and that 2011 incoming spring (or at least attempt at incoming) has been treating you kindly so far! It is with much pride and excitement that we send you this update and let you all know that we have exceeded our initial $10,000 goal needed to purchase and send a 40 foot shipping container to Namibia!! We are so excited that we have reached this goal, and could not have done this without each one of you and your support! To all of you who have been a part of this year long process of raising the funds; whether you gave of your time, your resources, your thoughts, or you helped spread the word, we are truly grateful that you are a part of our team and that you are sharing this journey with us to send mobility and empowerment to a community in Okalongo, Namibia. Our success is your success, so congratulations on all of your help and hard work! We are now so much closer to sending the container and shipment to Okalongo! With that in mind, we are also excited to announce our upcoming bike drive with a local church group in Gainesville on Friday, April 29th, on the heels of our last event with a local radio station in Atlanta, 104.7 The Fish. On Saturday, February 19th, Bicycles for Humanity Georgia collected used mountain bikes at 104.7 The Fish's remote broadcast at Carriage KIA in Gainesville, and made some new friends! This was a fun afternoon hanging out with some of the good folks at The Fish and we our excited about our next event to collect our final mountain bikes needed to fill our shipping container and send to Namibia! Please help us spread the word about collecting bicycles in Gainesville on Friday, April 29th! Also, if you'd like to volunteer with us on this day, please email or'd love to serve alongside of you! Thank you again for all of your hard work in 2010! We are looking forward to partnering with you in the coming months and to all of the wonderful things that the year will bring!! With gratitude, The Bicycles for Humanity Georgia family One bike can change one life, One life can change a community --------------------------------------------------



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Organization Information

Bicycles For Humanity - Atlanta, GA, Inc.

Location: Atlanta, GA - USA
Website: http:/​/​​
Bicycles For Humanity - Atlanta, GA, Inc.
Project Leader:
Mary Harwell
Athens, GA United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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