Cadbury dropped us a line to let us know they're in the midst of delivering 5,000 bicycles to Ghana, Africa. As the video advert above shows the bikes will likely see use as delivery vans, ambulances, water trucks and school buses, as they are used by up to 216 communities.
Photo: Bicycle Empowerment Network Namibia
Bicycling Empowerment Network Namibia
Of course, Cadbury are primarily confectionary company, so they've partnered with arrange the distribution of the bicycles. These partners include World Vision Ghana, Care, the Voluntary Services Organization and the Bicycling Empowerment Network Namibia. BEN Nambia is a local program led by ex-pat Australian Michael Linke, one time editor of Renew magazine. One of the early thrusts of BEN Nambia's work was to provide transport for medical workers so they could reach villages to provide health information on HIV/AIDS.
Michael is quoted as saying that "In Africa, a bicycle is hope, freedom and survival." Going to point out that, "A single bike can carry up to five times the weight, go four times as fast and travel four times as far as a person walking and it can change a person's life and a community's future."
It seems that the Cadbury bikes will predominately be used to provide educational and schooling opportunities for Ghanian kids. "the team identified the children most at risk were those that walked a minimum of 3 km to school each day. The bikes are also specially designed for the African terrain. They are equipped with a single gear and mud guards, have a basket for carrying books, and have a sturdy carrier to also help carry little brothers and sisters to school."
The program was developed through Cadbury Canada and encouraged Canuck chocolate eaters to enter the barcode of their purchase into a virtual bike factory. Each code representing a bicycle part and 100 parts or code being a real bike.
Gary Scullion, General Manager, Cadbury Canada points out in a media release that with each delivery Cadbury is also investing in bike-building and training sessions for key individuals in each community. "By providing the skills and the training needed to build a bike, these individuals can in turn teach the children how to assemble and maintain a bike, therefore helping extend the life cycle of each bicycle and ensuring future access to school and other needs in the community," he said.
Cadbury Cocoa Partnership
The bike delivery program is part of a larger engagement that Cadbury commenced in 2008 called the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership, whereby the chocolatier is committed to investing over $80 million CDN to support the economic, social and environmental sustainability of one million cocoa farmers and their communities in Ghana, India, Indonesia and the Caribbean.
With programs like this and the recent move to ensure their iconic purple wrapped milk chocolate is Fair Trade, it may be that Cadbury are returning somewhat to their Quaker roots,in offering some consideration for those less fortunate.
::Cadbury Canada, and ::Cadbury UK
• Cadbury's Gives Up the Tin and Turns to Cardboard
• Cadbury's Dairy Milk Chocolate Bar Goes Fairtrade
• Cadbury's swallows Green & Black's
More Bicycles For Africa
• World Bike Relief To Send 7,000 Bikes to Africa
• Bicycles for Humanity: Donate Bikes, Change Lives
• Wend Magazine Goes Into Bat for World Bicycle Relief
• Re-Cycle bicycles for African villagers
• Bikes Not Bombs Has Job Vacancies
• Pedals for Progress Seeks 100,000th Bike this Weekend
• Afrigadget: The 'Can Do' Attitude Personified