Wheels of Change International was founded by a group of entrepreneurs who shared a passion for assisting those who need it most. Wheels of Change helps start small enterprises in African communities by providing local people with skills, resources and support to deliver valuable goods and services at affordable prices.
At the heart of our enterprises are bicycles. We collect and ship donated bicycles in the United States and ship them to Africa. These bicycles are used to start bicycle shops that refurbish and sell them, provide ongoing repair services, and use profits to support local welfare initiatives like orphan feeding and clothing schemes. Many of these bicycle enterprises also go on to diversify, selling items like solar lighting that can help improve literacy and make homes with thatch roofs less vulnerable to deadly fires.
We also support bicycle tourism ventures, where bicycles are used for cultural visits to local villages and wildlife safaris. Our first tourism ventures started in 2013, and we’re excited about growing these in 2014 and beyond.
In 2014 we also look forward to supporting Bike Mobs, a project that aims to deliver thousands of bicycles and improve cycling safety for school children and low income earners in Windhoek, Namibia’s capital city.
How we started
In 2010 Dan Austin, co-founder of Austin~Lehman Adventures, was upgrading ALA’s fleet of bikes and was looking for something to do with the 120 used bicycles that he had. Dan came across the organization Bicycles for Humanity and decided to start up his own chapter in Montana. He quickly went to work collecting bicycles in Billings, MT and he soon had well over 400 bikes to be shipped to Ngoma, Namibia in Africa. In the spring of 2010, the first shipment had left Montana bound for the village of Ngoma. In the summer of 2010, Dan and his son Andy accompanied the opening of the container.
In 2011 Dan and Andy joined forces with Michael Linke of the Bicycling Empowerment Network Namibia (BEN Namibia) to form Wheels of Change.
If you would to contribute to WOC international and help this wonderful cause please visit our Donate page and find out how you can help.