by Brad Graber
Imported bikes are ill-suited for the rugged road conditions which exist in Congo. Transporting hundreds of pounds to market on a bicycle are common everyday scenes in the rural areas of Congo. Chuck Regier and Harlan Bartel’s dream is to design and locally fabricate a bicycle using bamboo as the primary raw material which is readily available in Congo.
Through their process of research they were fortunate to meet and connect with Craig Calfee, a well-known bicycle builder with experience developing bamboo bicycles elsewhere in Africa. Together they have tested a prototype and built several additional bikes to demonstrate fabrication techniques. This is all being done in a rural village area of Khoma close to where Chuck lived as a “missionary kid” 40 some odd years ago.
It’s been said that collaboration is the new frontier in missions. Hope for Congo is collaborative at its core. In turn Chuck and Harlan have collaborated with Craig Calfee and existing organizations in Congo-Hope International Development Agency and Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission to achieve their goals.
The end goal is to develop a self-sustaining cottage industry business model using local resources for the manufacture, assembly and distribution of durable bicycles that can be used for the transport of goods to and from the market place.
A nucleus of interested and vested Congolese are committed to furthering this project and realize its full potential and economic contribution to both rural communities and the overall larger economy.
Next Steps include the following:
• Develop a supply chain for components that cannot be produced locally.
• Develop a reliable mode of transporting components to the rural area.
• Develop sales, marketing and maintenance program.
• Raise $50,000 to begin the manufacturing and assembly process.
You can help make this dream a reality. With your financial tributions we can provide another layer of hope for our Congolese brothers and sisters.
Designate your donation to:
Hope 4 Congo and indicate “Congo Bike Project”
Send your Canadian Dollar Donations to:
Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission (AIMM)
440 Main Street
Steinbach, MB R5G 1Z5
Thank you, Brad.
For More on partnerships with AIMM see website:
Next week we will introduce a new long term venture, “The Nehemiah Project.”
• Pray that the Ebola virus will be contained and those infected are healed
• Please continue to pray for the political situation in Congo.
© 2017 Hope4Congo