THIS CHRISTMAS, GIVE
THE GIFT OF EMPOWERMENT
a friend, colleague or family member with an online donation. Downloadable giving
cards are available for all donations.
Namibia is nothing without its supporters. A big thank you to the many
individuals who have donated this year. We would like to thank the
organisations below for their generous contributions to our work:
Bicycles For Humanity
Canada Fund for Local Initiatives
Design for Development
Global Development Group
Green Living Project
La Stazione Delle Biciclette
Nucleus Fitness Centre
Planet Wheeler Foundation
Reptile Uranium Namibia
Rotary Port Moody
Rotary Vancouver China Town
We would also like to acknowledge Italian organisation CISP for their
to developing and delivering entrepreneurial and management training to
PO BOX 23150,
+264 61 250 200
Fax: +264 61 225 006
22 BIKE SHOPS, 90 JOBS, 12,000
WE ARE BUILDING AN INDUSTRY!
This year our
achievements really exceeded our expectations. We brought our total
number of bikes imported to over 12,000. The majority of these have
come through Bicycles for Humanity (B4H) chapters, while others
have been shipped by Re~Cycle,
ITDP and Bikes for the World
. The partnership with B4H has helped establish 13 new Bicycle
Empowerment Centres (BECs) in 2009, which employ local people, and
benefit local community based organisations through bike sales and
servicing. This takes the total number of BEC projects in Namibia to
22. Ninety permanent jobs have been created, of which half are for
women: Namibia's unemployment rate is 37 percent. The icing on the cake
is that a number of bicycles from each project are donated to
healthcare volunteers and children walking to school, and a percentage
of profits are invested in local social projects like orphan feeding
programmes, school uniform making and provision of micro-loans. With
your help, we’re hoping to build on these numbers in 2010.
URGENT FUNDING APPEAL
2009 was a mixed year for BEN Namibia financially. On
the one hand, our track record helped us to fund a high number of new
projects through donor agencies. On the other hand, we saw a decrease
in the number of donations from individuals and small charities. This
has serious implications for a small organisation like BEN Namibia.
Project funding doesn’t cover all of the organisation’s costs, from
salaries to phone bills. Large project funding also leaves little
opportunity for us to find dynamic solutions to new challenges. Smaller
donations allow us to fill the gaps and better meet the needs of our
partners. Help us if you can! You can
donate online , and can also make a gift in honour of a
friend or family member at Christmas.
The conference room in the town of Ongwediva was
buzzing on the first morning of BEN Namibia’s Network Conference in
late July. Fifty-one people from across Namibia had come together to
share ideas, successes and challenges, with the aim of building a
professional industry network.
The next three days were jam-packed with workshops and discussions on
marketing, supply chains, social investment ideas, managing
expenditure, successes and challenges. Presentations were made by
suppliers and the Ministry of Trade and Industry's Group Purchase
Scheme. The conference finale was a visit to five BEC projects in the
northern regions. The conference was an important milestone for BEN
Namibia, highlighting the development of our work over the past four
years, and helping to inform our plans for the future.
Download a copy of the report
to participants here.
BIKES FOR HIV/AIDS VOLUNTEERS
A group of
65 HIV/AIDS home-based care volunteers in Namibia's Omusati region
recently received new California bikes to help improve their work. A
group of 15 volunteers received mechanic training from local BEC
mechanics, Hilya Ekandjo and Ernest Aupa, to enable them to assemble
and maintain their bicycles. The volunteers are coordinated and trained
by the Ministry of Health and Social Services, and the delivery was
made possible through support from CESTAS and ITDP.
MEET A MECHANIC
Fredricks is a 23-year-old woman from Walvis Bay. In 2006, she found
out during her first pregnancy that she was HIV positive. Charntelle
was born late 2006, but passed away 14 months later. Working as a
domestic cleaner, Sandra had little faith in the future. Six months
after the death of her first daughter, she was pregnant again.
The death of her child, the weight of living with HIV and the new
pregnancy led her to despair and she tried to kill herself. Fortunately
the attempt failed, and her uncle put her in contact with the Walvis
Bay HIV support group. In one meeting, Sandra heard about training in
bicycle mechanics that would be offered for members of the group. “I
went to the support group and begged them for a place. I was chosen and
felt so happy”.
Vanessa was born in 2007 and is HIV negative. Through the support
group, Sandra was informed of what she had to do to keep her child
healthy and to avoid passing on the virus.
In May 2009 Sandra had the bicycle mechanic training, and is now part
of the Welwitschia Bicycle Shop, a BEC project run by support group
members. “There aren’t many women fixing bikes, but I saw some of them
in BEN Namibia projects and now I know we can also do that...Now I have
my own income, I can support my daughter and my mother and I’m proud of
myself”, she says with a smile.
Sandra is pictured receiving certificates for her training
in bicycle mechanics and entrepreneurship. Thanks to Gisele Netto for
compiling this report.
TEAM BEN NAMIBIA
Team BEN Namibia’s successful HIV/AIDS awareness
campaign has come to an end, after seeing thousands of people present
for HIV tests over the past two years. In 2010, the team will focus on
developing youth cycling through a school-based programme that aims to
bring 60 youth from disadvantaged schools into a regular training and
competition programme aimed at developing confidence, self-esteem and
discipline. This programme will also feed cyclists into the elite team.
Congratulations to Team BEN Namibia
member Victor Krohne, who won a silver medal in the African road
cycling championships as part of the Namibian team time-trial. We are
expecting big things from Victor in 2010!