Enthusiastic and motivated people who are committed to BikesforZim
When I visit the Netherlands, I am always shocked by the surplus of second-hand bicycles. Often they just go in the waste container while here in Zimbabwe I see people who lack the most basic resources and who could make a living from such a discarded bicycle.
RESCU is a 'private voluntary organisation' (PVO) established in the 1970s, comparable to an ANBI organization in the Netherlands, recognized by the Ministry of Social Welfare).
The objective of the RESCU foundation is to create employment in a protected environment for people with a physical or mental disability. It has spacious work halls in the center of Harare and has a complement of about 14 paid employees, the majority of whom have disabilities.
Like many organizations and companies, the organization is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and is barely being kept afloat with the production and modification of lower leg prostheses and the manufacture, import and maintenance of wheelchairs. The possibility to expand the activities with the storage, processing and use of bicycles as teaching material is seen as a lifeline.
The board consists mostly of members of the (old) white community of Harare, while the management is provided by Zimbabweans, some of them with disabilities themselves. RESCU is located on the 'quiet side' of Hararestreet in the Kopje area of Harare.
There is no own website, manager is Fungai Mawarere, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Partners In The Netherlands
BikesforZim has a number of partners in the Netherlands. They range from corporations, public entities (municipalities), community groups and private individuals. They help with practical matters and advise on navigating in the jungle of the Dutch developing world.
Their contributions range from direct donations of bicycles, assistance with fundraisers, recruiting volunteers, storage, legal advice, etc…
Partners In Zimbabwe
Rotary Club of Harare Dawn. This dynamic club helps find volunteers to help clean up, unpack storage and prepare bicycles for distribution and delivery to our Zimbabwean partners. They provided the link with RESCU, the organization for people with disabilities who are already repairing wheelchairs.
A number of partners have already been identified, other potential beneficiaries still need to be screened and assessed for suitability by BFZ. These organizations range from schools, grass-root organizations, bicycle repair shops, umbrella organizations, etc.
Calls for interest in such a project: 'To train bicycle repairmen and distribute bicycles as a means of generating income', received an overwhelming response from a wide range of Zimbabwean organizations. More than 25 organizations were interested and came up with proposals on how the bicycles would be 'assimilated'.
Aad van Geldermalsen
His original profession is a doctor, later an epidemiologist and a public health consultant. His passion for cycling as one of the most efficient (and healthiest!) ways of getting around has stayed with him since his early childhood in the Netherlands and as a student in Ghent.
Aad is the creator and founder of the foundation. He has lived and worked in Africa since 1981.
Secretary / Treasurer
He is an active sports cyclist himself and has different models, from racing to touring.
As a successful interior designer and teacher, he and his students have a large number of initiatives in development work to his name.
Aad van Geldermalsen
Chairman - Dutch ex-tropical doctor, epidemiologist for 28 years living and working in Zimbabwe
Secretary - Social Worker and manager of RESCU
Treasurer - ex-CFO of the Meikles group of companies in Zimbabwe, Rotary member and board member of several social institutions; Elliot Mugamu, ex-Chairman of Zimbabwe's largest bank and investment company (CBZ) and entrepreneur
Zimbabwean entomologist, entrepreneur and board member of various social organizations
Marc De Bruycker
Belgian, doctor and ex-diplomat for the European Commission and entrepreneur
Social worker and ex-director of SOS Children's Villages.