Cyclo Nord-Sud: Recycling Bikes- Transforming Lives
If you have an old bicycle gathering dust in your garage, there is a far better use for it.
Cyclo Nord-Sud is a Montreal based organization that sends used, donated bicycles to underprivileged communities across the Global south.
Since its inception in 1999, Cyclo Nord-Sud has shipped more than 56,000 tuned up bicycles to 20 countries in Africa and South America. Essentially in rural areas where transport issues are more important.
In the south, a bike is used by 5 to 10 people in addition of its buyer and has a lifespan of more than 20 years. The basic parts (frame, handlebars, drive, wheel spindles) are resistant and are less likely to break. The operating parts (tires, inner tubes, and brake and pad cables, chain) are inexpensive, rather interchangeable and easily accessible on the market.
Even when they are dysfunctional, bicycles and their parts can be useful in making different tools such as water pumps, washing machines, winches, generators, fans, grinding and sharpening mills.
Founder Claire Morrisette was inspired by the example of the Quebec Society for Cycling Education in Montreal, a non-for-profit organization founded in 1988, with the goal to promote cycling as a means of urban transportation.
Over the years, the team has grown from a small group of activists and six committed employees to a group that now includes more than 500 volunteers, dedicated collaborators , renowned ambassadors as well as the world –renowned environmentalist, David Suzuki, who acts as Honorary President.
The story of Cyclo Nord-Sud is also the story of many woman who can now move independently of hundreds of children who can go to school more easily, giving them more time for studies and of farmers who finally have better mobility to go to their fields as well as their markets, helping them ensure a more prosperous life for their families.
Since its inception, Cyclo Nord-Sud has reached out to thousands of people, allowing them to achieve greater social justice, more equitable exchanges, but most of all, preserve their dignity.