Why are we committed to Zimbabwe?
BikesforZim arose as 'Cycling for Africa' through the observation of the inequality in abundance and even excess of bicycles in the Netherlands and the need for cheap and effective transport in Zimbabwe. Aad and his Dutch and Zimbabwean friends saw the opportunity to link the need in Zimbabwe to the availability of the many still good but no longer used bicycles in the Netherlands.
Because we already have good contacts in Zimbabwe, we can quickly make a responsible selection of local partners and help them make optimal use of the bicycles, while keeping an eye on things.
"Zimbabwe, the former Rhodesia is a country in southern Africa that gained its independence in 1980".
Background of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is going through a difficult time. Economic and political mismanagement has reduced the economy by more than 40%. Unemployment is regularly quoted as being over 80%. Most people survive through subsistence farming, minor (and often dangerous) mining practices, trade and retail. Where there used to be a growing middle class, it has shrunk drastically due to the current social political system, with an increase in the impoverishment of the population, both in the urban area and (especially) in the countryside.
Despite all the misery, the Zimbabweans remain cheerful and believe in a better future. We hope to contribute to that.
More about Zimbabwe
A general background on Zimbabwe with historical and socio-demographic facts can be found in Wikipedia. For a more in-depth background and an analysis of socio-economic developments, visit the World Bank site. Then there is the perspective of one of the local leading economists, John Robertson and a more general more recent analysis of opposition party MP Eddie Cross.
Other information about Zimbabwe that gives an idea of the (level of) the political debate can be found, for example, on the Africa and the World site. The news websites, which keep the world up-to-date with the most recent developments, are www.zimbabwesituation.com and the related twitter account. These sites also provide insight into the current discussion about politics.
Zimbabwe is a fantastically beautiful country with fantastic people. This is what we do it for.