At the end of September, the Community Cycling Center (CCC) will expand its reach far beyond their Northeast Portland headquarters when they send 450 bikes, wheels, tubes and other parts to a village in Ghana, Africa.
The CCC is partnering with the Village Bicycle Project (VBP), a non-profit that works to improve access to bikes in Africa through bike donations, teaching bike maintenance, and providing tools and training.
The CCC has several connections to Ghana, including former employee Jaye Marolla who now works for the VBP (you might remember her from this post). In addition to Marolla, the CCC’s BikeArt program coordinator Nikkie West (photo) spent a year in Ghana during college and their retail shop manager Mychal Tetteh’s father is from Ghana.
Here’s more on the project from CCC communications director Allison Hill:
“We feel fortunate to be able to help the VBP. We like the idea of keeping the option open for future shipments, but our first priority is always to ensure that we have bikes for our programs and our retail shop (which benefits our programs).”
According to Hill, the bikes will be sent in “as-is” condition and then most of them will be sold on arrival to pay transportation costs. The remainder of the bikes will then be put into earn-a-bike programs around the country. The programs—much like the CCC’s programs—teach mechanic skills while the participant earns their bike.
The target date for loading bikes into the container is September 24th. If you’d like to help, stay tuned for a call for volunteers.
This is the first time the CCC has ever done something like this and it signals the type of thinking typical of new executive director Susan Remmers.
Remmers has only been at the helm for three months, but has already made sweeping changes at the organization. I sat down with her last week and will have more on that meeting soon.