March 20, 2010

In March of 2010, in honor of World TB Day, Project HOPE began a fundraising campaign to raise money for TB volunteers in Malawi. Currently community volunteers trained by Project HOPE walk miles each way to and from the nearest health clinic to deliver TB samples from their villages to TB testing centers.

A simple bicycle vastly improves the speed in which volunteers deliver samples and test results, allowing people with TB to be diagnosed and cured more quickly.

The goal of the Bikes for Malawi campaign was to raise enough money to buy 60 bicycles, one for each village testing site. $168 covers a bicycle, spare parts for one year, training in bicycle maintenance and repair and a box for test samples.

As of March 2011, the campaign has raised enough money to purchase 56 bikes for the program, and the results are already being felt.

In August, Rodrick Nalikungwi, Project HOPE's Country Director for Malawi sent a note to the donors of the Bikes for Malawi program:

"We at Project HOPE and the people of Malawi are very, very grateful for this donation which will help improve the lives of our poor brothers and sisters in the rural communities. It is no small gift to us but one that carries the giving hearts of the people of America," Rodrick says. "We have now purchased 16 bikes and spare parts and I want to thank those who donated to the Bikes for Malawi campaign and ask you to rejoice with us that the work of the many people who have volunteered to serve others for no pay is going to be a lot easier. This will motivate them and encourage them a little more. We are very grateful for your personal involvement and the time and energy you invested in this activity. Once again thank you and may God Bless you."

On October 12, Rodrick sent another update:

"We have now procured 32 bicycles some spare parts for our volunteers to use to deliver TB samples and results. We have also trained the volunteers at the sites to maintain the bicycles. We still have 28 more bicycles to go to finish our target."

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