World Bicycle Relief Awarded Bertha-and-Carl-Benz-Prize By City of Mannheim. The award recognizes World Bicycle Relief for increasing mobility for hundreds of thousands of people in rural developing countries.
Chicago, IL – On April 4, Mayor Dr. Peter Kurz and the city of Mannheim, Germany, awarded World Bicycle Relief the prestigious Bertha-and-Carl-Benz-Prize. The prize is given out every two years to an individual or organization that has made a significant impact on mobility- increasing not only physical mobility, but social mobility as well, with a solution that is simple and ecologically sustainable. World Bicycle Relief will accept the prize and 10,000 EUR at the International Cycling Conference held in Mannheim in September.
“We are honoring an exemplary organization this year. World Bicycle Relief’s work beautifully merges the different aspects of the prize by creating mobility with simple, environmentally friendly transportation that leads to increased social mobility,” said Mayor Dr. Peter Kurz. “World Bicycle Relief creates opportunities several different ways- connecting individuals to education, markets and health care, increasing social participation and ultimately, giving individuals the chance for independence. Such an effective and sustainable organization has rightly earned the Bertha-and-Carl-Benz-Prize.”
The prize is being given out in conjunction with Mannheim’s celebration of 200 Years of the Bicycle in 2017. The birthplace of the bicycle, Mannheim is hosting many bike related activities and exhibits throughout 2017 including the origins of the bicycle, its historical development, contemporary bicycle culture and bicycle oriented solutions that address many of today’s challenging global issues.
“We are deeply thankful and humbled to be receiving this esteemed award from such a revolutionary source of mobility innovation. From the bicycle to the automobile, the City of Mannheim is rich in its history and culture of inspiring and rewarding growth in this important and overlooked field. We are honored to stand amongst giants, and know in our hearts that until the barrier of distance is removed at all societal levels, then the battle must rage on,” said FK Day, Co-Founder and CEO of World Bicycle Relief.
World Bicycle Relief believes that mobility is fundamental to breaking the cycle of poverty. With mobility, people are empowered to make new economies, access health care and education and move forward. Over the next ten years, World Bicycle Relief’s goal is to provide millions of quality bicycles to individuals in developing countries and through simple, sustainable transportation, move millions from extreme poverty into shared prosperity.
World Bicycle Relief envisions a future where distance is no longer an obstacle to development and independence. In rural regions of the developing world, there is very little infrastructure and walking is the main mode of transportation. Through access to high quality, rugged bicycles, individuals and communities in rural developing regions can dramatically improve livelihoods and educational and health care outcomes.
World Bicycle Relief delivers bicycles to students, health care workers and entrepreneurs through both philanthropic and social enterprise programs. Students receive bicycles through study-to-own programs with data highlighting a 59% increase in academic performance for students with bicycles. Volunteer health care workers receive bikes through work-to-own programs with retention rates for health care workers with bicycles close to 100%. Entrepreneurs dramatically improve productivity and profits. A 2015 dairy study highlighted a 23% increase in profits and a 45% reduction in travel time for farmers with bicycles.
Backed with rigorous and encouraging data, World Bicycle Relief is poised to scale and make an even greater impact for millions in need.
World Bicycle Relief is honored to join the company of previous recipients of the Bertha-and-Carl-Benz-Prize: Shai Agassi for his work in the field of electric mobility, Prof. José del. R. Millán for his research on brain-computer interfaces that control mobility aids to assist mobility impaired people, and Prof Dr. Jan Gehl for his remarkable architectural work in urban planning and mobility solutions.
In 2011, the city of Mannheim donated the Bertha-and-Carl-Benz-Prize at the 125th anniversary of the Automobile Jubilee. The prize is endowed with 10,000 Euros and is awarded every two years. People, groups and organizations that have made a significant improvement in mobility- in particular mobility that is environmentally friendly and that increases social mobility – are eligible as prize winners. The prize is granted by the municipal council of Mannheim at the suggestion of the court of appeal.
About World Bicycle Relief
Founded in 2005, World Bicycle Relief mobilizes people through The Power of Bicycles®. World Bicycle Relief accomplishes its mission by distributing specially designed, high quality bicycles through philanthropic and social enterprise programs. These purpose designed bicycles are built to withstand the challenging terrain and conditions in rural, developing areas. Entrepreneurs use the bicycles to increase productivity and profits. Students attend class more regularly and improve their academic performances. And, health care workers visit more patients in less time, providing better, more consistent care. World Bicycle Relief also promotes local economies and long-term sustainability by assembling bicycles locally and training field mechanics to service the bicycles. To date, World Bicycle Relief has delivered over 340,000 bicycles and trained over 1,600 field mechanics in Africa, Southeast Asia and South America. World Bicycle Relief is a registered nonprofit in the USA, Canada, U.K., Germany and Australia, and has assembly facilities in Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Angola.
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