starting point | la « Roue libre et solidaire »
Aprobenir (Nicaragua) | practically speaking... | List of sponsors

Starting point

We wished from the start to share our project with underprivileged people, who fight daily for their living conditions and who certainly cannot afford to fulfil dreams of travel. Our plan was to set up a sponsorship system for the benefit of these people, in order to supply them with a bicycle which could be of direct use in their job (courier, deliveries...), or in their professional or private travel. On the other hand, we did not want to make a fleeting appearance like Santa Claus who distributes a few beautiful toys, and then disappears for another year.

We wanted therefore to cooperate with a not-for-profit organisation or charity, which would be able to direct the benefits of the sponsorship, integrate this action into an existing program, and secure a definite follow-up. And then we even heard about two organisations using bicycle as a solidarity mean!

«La Roue libre et solidaire»
Free wheel showing solidarity, Belgium)

The " Roue libre et solidaire " is an operation of mobility showing solidarity. It was launched last year by the not-for-profit organisation Ateliers de la Rue Voot (based in Brussels), which promotes, among other things, an educational bicycle workshop. Bicycles needing repairs are donated by individuals and are then fixed by volunteers and professional technicians. The beneficiaries are official organisations such as ATD Quart-Monde or centres for political refugees. They offer the bicycles to people really needing them as a regular means of transportation.

The "Roue libre et solidaire" allows these people to develop a social life, to take administrative steps, to apply for a job, to go shopping... For political refugees, who only get two bus or train tickets a month, a bicycle means
freedom; for ATD's operatives, a bicycle is a working tool to reach their objective: giving back dignity to those parts of the population that need it. And dignity also means the right to mobility.

The " Roue libre et solidaire " has already repaired about 60 donated bicycles during the second half of 2000. Fixing a bicycle costs 1,600 to 2,000 BEF (40 to 50 EUR), which covers professional labour and spare parts. The operation had slowed down now, because of a lack of funds.

Aprobenir (Nicaragua)

This is another beautiful story.....André Fache a Belgian engineer, moved to Nicaragua 10 years ago, sent by the non-profit organization 'Terre' (Earth) to develop a small bicycle factory. He worked 5 years in this workshop and at the end of this period, 'La Fabrica Bicicletas Tierra' was running autonomously.

André and his Nicaraguan wife Maribel needed a new challenge and sensitive to the cause of the children, they created 'Aprobenir Nicaragua' (an organization for the benefit of children in precarious situations). 'Aprobenir' brings assistance to underprivileged children in the area of Jinotepe (40 kms south of Managua, the capital) who do not have access to quality education. They live mainly in the streets, in very unhygienic conditions, without education and thus without a future.

In order to help them to become autonomous in their own life, 'Aprobenir' set up and developed a workshop for apprenticeship and carpentry which has about 40 children between the ages of 11 and 18 years. On one hand, a bicycle factory which runs fairly well but has problems to sell its production because of the low local purchasing power and on the other hand, children and teens who must sometimes walk very long distances, daily, to get to the workshop. The little help to be provided is quite obvious: 'Aprobenir' could buy the bicycles of the cycle factory and lend them to students in need, the two thus supporting one and other.

We are in touch with the parents of André, Michèle and Daniel Fache, responsible for 'Aprobenir', Belgium. Among others, they collect the funds to send them to Nicaragua. A new bicycle produced locally costs about 5.000 BEF (125 EUR).

Practically speaking...

Over here you can intervene in our fund raising cycle broject 'bike8000'. Kindly reply to this address: (click here after you have read what follows). You should give precise information regarding:

  • your name and surname
  • your complete address
  • your phone number
  • the sponsored charity: ROUE LIBRE ET SOLIDAIRE, or APROBENIR
  • x,xx BEF/km (or x,xxx EUR/km) * 8000 = total amount xxxx BEF (or EUR)

For example:

  • 0,50 BEF/km * 8000 = 4000 BEF
  • or 0,005 EUR/km * 8000 = 40 EUR

You should then commit to transfer the promised amount latest by December 2001, at the end of our journey. We commit from our side to supply you in January 2002 with a summary and/or a budget of the destination of the transferred funds. This information will be available on our web site.

The account numbers are as follows:

  • ROUE LIBRE ET SOLIDAIRE: 001-1024332-88 (Ateliers de la Rue Voot)
  • APROBENIR: 034-1820601-70

    In both cases, communication: "BIKE8000"

Important remarks:

  • Amounts paid by Belgian citizens are tax deductible for 'Aprobenir' only. Unfortunately, 'La Roue Libre et Solidaire' cannot propose this facility as yet.

  • Bank commissions for payments to Belgium from another country even within the EU, can be very high. We suggest you raise the question with your bank in advance. Depending on the amount charged, you may want to reconsider your plans and instead support an International organization with local bank accounts, such as the Red Cross, Handicap International etc.

  • Any difficulty in understanding this charity sponsorship system? Any
    doubt subsisting or simple question to be asked? Please contact our
    Webmaster (Roland Fabri) at, or phone to one or the following numbers:

    • +32-(0)2-762.48.93 Ateliers de la Rue Voot (Dominique Baecke ou Jean-Luc Breuer),
    • +32-(0)56-488.845 APROBENIR (Michèle et Daniel Fache).

List of sponsors

Names of the Charity Sponsors, by chronological order of reception of sponsorship commitments:

  • Gaetane et Benoit Verbruggen
  • Madame Brasseur
  • Michel et Colette Gevers
  • Laurence et Guillaume Amand
  • Alain et Marie Verbruggen
  • Ines et Vincent Orts
  • Anne Donnay de Casteau
  • Les Carly
  • Marie et Philippe Jacques de Dixmude
  • Béatrice et Jean-Louis Raemdonck
  • Caroline et Guy Standaert
  • J.M. Mineur
  • Jacques Taymans
  • Mme J. Geerinckx Jadot
  • Karl Vandisandi
  • Anne Osterrieth et François Nef
  • Jules et Bénédicte Lacoste
  • Nanou et Guy Berkenboom
  • Marie-Dominique et Stephan Milis
  • Alain Geerinckx
  • Nathalie et Hubert Cambier - Motte
  • Ernest Wibin
  • Louis Paternostre
  • Georges Van Der Borgt
  • Mme Alfred Blondel
  • Mr J.Bouhon
  • Mme Monique Taymans
  • Robert et Monique De Bauw
  • Christiane et Michel de Pierpont
  • Françoise et Pierre d'Argent
  • Françoise & Didier Vinel
  • Celine et Damien de Walque
  • Mme Bernadette van Nuffel
  • Mr et Mme Collard- Verbruggen
  • Mr et Mme Jean Huysmans
  • Claire et Etienne Denoel
  • Ghislaine De Waele
  • Mr Jacques Hanssens
  • Mr Jean Huysmans
  • Mr Kervyn de Meerendre
  • Mme Méi Meert
  • Mr Luc de Wilde d'Estmael
  • Mme Edouard Van Nuffel
  • Alexandre et Anne-Catherine Hoffmann
  • Véronique et Olivier Thomas
  • Maurice et Aliette Barthelemy
  • Mr & Mme Van Der Borght
  • Olivier et Caroline Carton de Wiart
  • Rose-Marie Nolf
  • Mr Paul Bosmans
  • Mr Etienne Lecomte
  • Mr er Mme Paul Vanden Dael
  • Tony et Viviane Jacques de Dixmude

Latest cumulated total for both operations:
324.300 BEF (8.039 EUR) or 40,54 BEF/km (1,00 EUR/km)

Many thanks already to show such solidarity!