We believe that a bicycle can make a difference in this world for reasons of health, poverty alleviation, environment, etc. The objective of CooP-Africa is to improve access (availability and accessibility) to a bicycle as a means for poverty reduction and initiating and promoting bicycle interventions that can contribute to improving the lives of African families. Accessibility is one of the most important factors in development. Access to schools, access to hospital and access to jobs. African women and children walk long distances every day, often carrying many kilos of firewood and water on their heads. Walking to reach schools, health facilities or areas where they can work. A bicycle can break the vicious circle of poverty because it offers Africans the opportunity to climb (or cycle) out of poverty.
CooP-Africa started after the founders Marieke de Wild and Luuk Eickmans lived in Uganda in 2004. During their stay, they conducted research on the impact of bicycles on the livelihood of poor African women and their families. The results were impressive and upon return in the Netherlands they couldn’t forget about it. Under the name “Cycling out of poverty” they started small scale fundraising to support organisations in Uganda, Ghana and Burkina Faso with setting up bicycle projects. In 2007 Cycling out of Poverty was officially registered as a foundation and in 2012 it received the Dutch quality hallmark for small charities from CBF.