Show a child how to ride a bike and you’ve provided him or her with a taste of freedom. Give a child freed from slavery or human trafficking a bike and you’re helping them move closer and closer to autonomy and independence, which is what the 88bikes Foundation is all about.
Started in 2006, 88 Bikes has a simple goal “to provide a sustainable, joyful, empowering form of transportation to young people in developing countries, in situations where these children have been challenged to be their own heroes due to war, conflict, poverty, disease, or other regional hardships.”
Like a two-wheeled take on the Heifer Foundation, this group will announce a partnership with Keen at this week’s Interbike trade show. As part of the launch, Keen will match the first 100 donations to 88bikes. Donations will buy bikes for their 2010 initiative, which will focus on delivering bikes to children who have been rescued from human trafficking in several countries.
“88bikes is an outstanding organization. Through the power of their all-volunteer staff and the donations that they raise, they have given more than 400 bikes to kids in refugee camps, orphanages and other challenging living situations in developing countries,” says Linda Tom, marketing manager at Keen.
88bikes will also receive funding from Keen to provide tools and bike maintenance training for bicycle recipients, in addition to the matching donations for bikes. www.88bikes.org