Cartier Philanthropy - Pedal power

Pedal power


In many regions of the world, distance is a barrier to attending school, receiving healthcare and delivering goods to market. World Bicycle Relief provides specially-designed, locally-assembled rugged bicycles for people in need so they can be independent and thrive. We are supporting World Bicycle Relief in Zambia’s Central Province to build a sustainable bicycle ecosystem and enable 3,900 people, mostly women and girls, to meet their mobility needs, while benefitting a total of 19,500 people through shared use.

Focus area
Sustainable Livelihoods and Ecosystems Access to Basic Services
World Bicycle Relief


83% of Zambia’s rural population lacks access to reliable and affordable transport, such that distance and transport costs considerably limit access to essential goods, services, education and economic opportunities. This is especially the case in remote regions such as Mumbwa district in Central Province.


World Bicycle Relief (WBR) provides specially-designed, locally-assembled rugged Buffalo Bicycles for people who can’t afford them so they can be independent and thrive.

For the next three years, WBR will work with communities in the Mumbwa district of Zambia’s Central Province to establish a sustainable bicycle ecosystem, including local assembly and distribution facility teams, field mechanics trained to service bicycles and social enterprise retail shops established to ensure the availability of quality spare parts and repairs.

Following a participative approach, the organisation will work closely with community members and local leaders to identify those people facing the most pressing distance barriers in the district and to take care of the distribution of bicycles across different sectors. A local committee, trained in needs assessment, programme management, spare parts management and monitoring will support community ownership and long-term sustainability.

Expected results

3,900 people (70% women or girls) will receive a bicycle to meet education, health or livelihood needs, benefitting a total of 19,500 people through shared bicycle use.

In the long term, World Bicycle Relief’s approach is expected to result in:

  • 15% increase in household income;
  • 25% increase in households with improved access to health services;
  • 10% increase annually in boys and girls who continue at school.

Long-term strategy

WBR’s mission is to help poor communities improve access to health services, education and economic opportunities in regions where distance is a challenge, delivering the specially-designed Buffalo Bicycles. WBR’s hybrid model combines the donation of bicycles with supportive community programming to those who can’t afford them with social enterprise sales that create new economic opportunities and maintain sustainable bicycle ecosystems.

WBR has distributed over 550,000 bicycles and trained 2,500 bicycle mechanics in 21 countries to date, empowering students, health service providers, farmers and entrepreneurs to get an education, reach patients faster, run a business or simply make their way around their communities more effectively.