ING Orange Bike Project Brings Bicycles to Students in Asia

Dutch financial institution ING has built their corporate purpose around “empowering people to stay a step ahead, in life and in business.” While ING remains committed to this purpose in their day-to-day banking work, they also wanted to integrate it into their corporate giving efforts. And if they could find a way to honor their Dutch bicycling heritage at the same time, even better! The organization did just that by developing a sustainable transportation relief program: the Orange Bike Project.

ING collaborated with World Bicycle Relief (WBR) and World Vision Philippines to bring bicycles to children living in remote locations in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand. The project is modeled after WBR’s Bicycles for Educational Empowerment Program (BEEP) and aspires to raise enough funds over five years to build and distribute 5,000 bicycles to students who must walk long distances to school every day. 20140705_101805WBR’s educational programs in Africa have demonstrated that reducing students’ travel time to school helps improve attendance and performance. Bicycle-riding students are more likely to stay in school, improving their career prospects and future income potential as well. As Mark Newman, CEO of ING Asia, says, “We hope that the ING Orange Bike project will be able to create a lasting impact that empowers the students, their families and the community to keep moving forward in life.”

The project’s orange ING-branded Buffalo Bicycle is specially designed for rough, rural terrain and can carry loads up to 100 kg – making it useful for the student’s family to transport crops and goods to the market when school is not in session.
As of December 2016, 3,200 bicycles have been distributed through the Orange Bike Project. The program’s impact is carefully monitored by a local implementing agency, and the results have been spectacular! In several beneficiary schools in the Philippines, attendance has increased by at least 33% and grades by at least 51%. The bicycles have also helped recipient families bring more goods to market, increasing their income.

ING has plans to raise $200,000 annually to continue the program through 2018. Employee fundraising groups like the ING Orange Bike Cycling Challenge have helped ING reach its goal by raising $75,000 in 2016. The program has benefited from the enthusiastic support of ING employees and friends who all share the organization’s commitment to empowering individuals. Shayne Prashan, ING employee and team leader for the ING Orange Bike Cycling Challenge, was motivated to fundraise for the project because of the emotional enlightenment it offered him. “It’s about the only superpower that makes us human: empathy.” Shayne says. “It invites us on one of the greatest and most courageous adventures of our lives: to step into someone else’s shoes to understand their struggles and to help them walk through life with confidence and faith.”

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