Byron bikes for Fiji farmers
OVER the past 14 years Mark Pate and Jenny Clarke of Goodwill Bicycles Abroad have collected, repaired, and shipped more than 10,000 bikes around to those in need around the world.
They have sent bikes to developing countries including East Timor, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Nauru and also to remote aboriginal communities in Australia.
Right now the front and back yard of their home in Byron Bay is stacked high with frames and wheels of bikes ready to load into a 20 foot container bound for Fijian subsistence farmers on Taveuni Island.
Mark and Jenny will also travel to Fiji to meet the container and set up workshops with local partners to reassemble and distribute the bikes.
"Bikes speed up their whole economy making life and communication much easier," said Jenny.
"It really helps the kids getting to and from school especially for high school students because the school is so much further away."
It will cost the couple around $6,000 to send the bikes to Fiji so it's fortunate that Goodwill Bicycles is a registered charity so that any donations they receive are tax deductible.
"We are currently looking for larger premises so we can employ more people to work on the bikes," said Mr Pate.
They founded their charity in Darwin and have spent time working with bikes in Timor and the Solomon Islands finally settling in Byron in 2009.
"I do it because I don't like working for people but I do like helping people," said Mr Pate
"It's a tangible project to give something to someone who needs it.
"Australia throws away 2 million bikes per year when they are the ultimate recyclable item.
"We feel fortunate to be able to do something about that."
If you can help Goodwill Bicycles Abroad in any way go to: goodwillbicycles.com or call 6680 8768.