There's an estimated need for 80 million bicycles across the developing world. In response to this staggering need, Swedish bicycle brand Vélosophy - in partnership with UNICEF - has pledged to donate one bicycle for each one purchased, giving girls in Ghana the opportunity to travel to school safely and quickly.
These bikes aren’t just some cheap, mass-produced piece of transportation. Vélosophy, founded by entrepreneur Jimmy Östholm, paid great attention to their sleek, modern design. The minimal frames, built with aluminum, are accented with pops of color on the handlebars, seat, pedals, and around the wheels. The bike comes in green, orange, blue, yellow, or purple. There are two styles: the Sport Edition and the Comfort Edition.
The bikes will be donated to school-age girls in Ghana. According to UNICEF, most girls in Ghana have to travel five to ten kilometers to get to school every day. On foot, they’re more vulnerable to abuse and violence. Some girls cope with the distance by departing school early; others can’t attend at all.
“Giving girls a means of transport as a sustainable and durable bike is a proven way to get more young people, especially girls, to get to school and thus get the chance to fulfill their right to education,” said UNICEF Sweden (translated from Swedish).
Vélosophy said that bikes empower girls, and that there was a 30% attendance increase and 60% performance increase when girls had access to bikes.
“According to Plan UK – an extra year of education increases a girls’ income by 10 to 20 per cent and is a significant step on the road to breaking the cycle of poverty,” said Vélosophy.
The company will also support a UNICEF initiative that will create jobs in Ghana by using the local resources to build sustainable bikes.
Their bikes are available for purchase online for around $800.
Via Design Milk
Images via Vélosophy