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Bicycle Recycling (2000-2013)

From 2000 to 2013, we collected usable bicycles in Aachen and shipped them to our partner organisations in Cape Town. There they were repaired and found new uses in self-help organisations and schools. The project in Aachen was organised by Welthaus. The city of Aachen and the ADFC supported the campaign, while the GIZ covered a large part of the container costs.

Mobility is a problem in the townships of Cape Town; public transport is not affordable for many. Bicycles are almost unknown as a means of transport, especially among the disadvantaged population. As two large transport organisations, ADFC (Allgemeiner Deutscher Fahrrad Club) and VCD (Verkehrs-Club-Deutschland), were active in the partnership via Welthaus Aachen, the topic of sustainable mobility was addressed in a project.

During this period, BEN (Bicycle Empowerment Network) ran bicycle workshops in the townships, trained unemployed young people and organised training courses in riding and repairing bicycles at schools.

Unfortunately, we have not been able to continue this project after 2013 for various reasons.

The project was sustainable and successful:

  • Used bikes from Aachen were put to good use.
  • The public in Aachen was effectively informed about the partnership.
  • Sustainable mobility was promoted and addressed in Cape Town.
  • Young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Cape Town were given the opportunity for training and employment.

In 14 years, we have been able to bring more than 2500 bikes to Cape Town.