In 2019, Ruth stepped into a Buffalo Bicycles retail shop in Mumbwa, Zambia, to buy spokes, a hub and a rim. Outside, she quickly laced the wheel.
Instantly convinced that Ruth would be an asset to World Bicycle Relief, the shop manager recommended she be hired as a bicycle assembler in the Zambia assembly facility – the first female in that position.
(In addition to facilitating access to critical opportunities such as healthcare, education, markets and livelihoods, addressing gender inequality and norms is high on our list of priorities.)
Now, Ruth is part of a network of 60+ specialized employees across our six assembly facilities globally.
These assemblers build and deliver our rugged Buffalo Bicycles, honing their skills in specialized areas of the production and becoming experts on specific components. Knowledge and best practices are shared between facilities, creating the spread of innovation from team to team. We listen to their feedback and are able to produce a better bicycle for the people who need them most.
“I know everything,“ says Ruth. “I know the bicycle completely.”
Building a sustainable bicycle infrastructure in the regions where we work ensures that our bicycles and programs create a lasting impact for the people we serve.
It also helps us find talented employees like Ruth, who now supports her community while supporting herself.