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Friday Round-Up: Bikes, Water and Taking Action

October 15th, 2010

Unless you’ve been living in a deep, dark cave… You may have noticed that there is a lot of cool stuff going on out there. So, we thought it was high-time we started rounding up some of our faves each Friday. Every month, we’ll be choosing a theme that fits with the Osprey lifestyle. Since we were so excited for the launch of our bike blog last month, we decided to continue with that theme for all of October. Welcome to the Osprey Friday Round-Up!

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Today is Blog Action Day — an annual event held every October 15 that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day with the aim of sparking a global discussion and driving collective action. This year’s topic is water.

Right now, almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. That’s one in eight of us. And we think that’s something worth talking about. Since we’ve observed Fridays this month to talk about bikes, we thought we could combine the two…

Read more…

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Bike, causes, Osprey Culture , , , , , , , ,

A Boy and a Bicycle: NYT Op-Ed by Nicholas Kristof

September 19th, 2010

Photos courtesy Leah Missbach Day, World Bicycle Relief

Can bikes change the world? That’s a question we like to ask a lot.

Here’s yet another example of bikes making a significant difference, this time via World Bicycle Relief. Last week in the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof wrote a pretty touching piece about the effect that WBR is having in the developing world.

Early this year I wrote a column from Zimbabwe that focused on five orphans who moved in together and survive alone in a hut.

The eldest, Abel, a scrawny and malnourished 17-year-old, would rise at 4 o’clock each morning and set off barefoot on a three-hour hike to high school. At nightfall, Abel would return to function as surrogate father: cajoling the younger orphans to finish their homework by firelight, comforting them when sick and spanking them when naughty.

When I asked Abel what he dreamed of, he said “a bicycle” — so that he could cut the six hours he spent walking to and from school and, thus, take better care of the younger orphans. Last week, Abel got his wish. A Chicago-based aid organization, World Bicycle Relief, distributed 200 bicycles to students in Abel’s area who need them to get to school. One went to Abel.

The initiative is a pilot. If it succeeds and finds financing, tens of thousands of other children in Zimbabwe could also get bicycles to help them attend school.

“I’m happy,” Abel told me shyly — his voice beaming through the phone line — when I spoke to him after he got his hands on his bicycle.

WBR has given out more than 70,000 bicycles so far. But why are bikes so powerful when it comes to development? As Kristof puts it, “it’s an example of an aid intervention that puts a system in place, one that is sustainable and has local buy-in, in hopes of promoting education, jobs and a virtuous cycle out of poverty.”

What are your favorite bike organizations?

You can read the whole article here.

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Advocacy, International, Non-profits , , ,

Adventure + Culture: Vote for Majka Burhardt for an Epic Award!

March 17th, 2010

WaypointDVDfrontThe White House Project has nominated our friend, and Osprey athlete, Majka Burhardt for an EPIC Award — given to a woman working to make change in a joyful way. Click HERE to vote for Majka before March 22!

In May 2009, a small team of rock climbers departed for Namibia with two goals: to find a way up an unexplored face, and to find a way into a deeper understanding of southern Africa. At the heart of their trip lies the question, can adventure and culture combine to create understanding? WayPoint Namibia is the story of their journey.

http://www.vimeo.com/6748111

“I have a theory these days, that you can make adventure additive. That you can go beyond pure physical adventure and get cultural understanding out of it,” said Majka in the film.

Congratulations, and keep up the great work Majka!

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