Difference between pages "User:Willd" and "Village Bicycle Project"

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{| style="float:right; border:1px solid #BBB;margin:.46em 0 0 .2em"
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{{Project
|RPCV / [[Armenia]]
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|project=Village Bicycle Project
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|projecttype=Independent
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|region=Any region
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|country=Ghana
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|firstname=PCV
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|lastname=Kennedy
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|projectyear=2001
 +
}}
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===Title===
 +
 
 +
Village Bicycle Project
 +
 
 +
===Purpose and Approach===
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 +
Village Bicycle Project offers a one-day class in bike maintenance and repair that includes discounted bicycles, (prices are on page 5). In order to qualify for the reduced bikes, attendees must fully participate in an 8 hour bicycle repair workshop. It is limited to 20 people, and focuses on preventative maintenance, puncture repair and adjustments.  We require that at least 20 percent of the participants are women and encourage you to make it even more.  It is not true that women cannot learn bike repair and we ask that you help dispel such stereotypes in your community. 
 +
 
 +
We suggest that you print this out and save it.  There is a lot of information here you will need to refer to throughout the process of:  
 +
# initial application,
 +
# ordering bikes, and explaining the peculiarities of the program to the community,
 +
# when the program comes, and
 +
# report and follow-up.           
 +
 
 +
(Syllabus is available on line at villagebicycleproject.org/onedayout.htm)
 +
 
 +
We’ve held about 200 of these workshops with Peace Corps Volunteers since 2001.  PCVs report that organizing the program is a lot of work, so keep that in mind!  Many have also reported that it was among the best things they did for their communities during their two years.
 +
 
 +
Why they must attend a class to get a bike:
 +
# A little maintenance saves a lot of money and time. Many people are inclined to simply hop on and ride away. The class makes them stop and notice how things work. A little preventative maintenance teaches for example, that riding on under inflated tires will cost many cedis in replacement of spoiled tires and tubes. 
 +
# The class discourages scammers from buying discounted bikes only to then sell them on the open market, thus depriving those we wish to benefit.
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# The class and cost-sharing make it more likely that the people are serious about owning and caring for their bicycles.
 +
 
 +
Class participants are each entitled to one bike. Those arriving late, leaving early or missing portions of the class may be disqualified and will receive their money back.  This message has not been adequately reaching the participants, and we commonly have someone show up two hours late to pick their bike and go.  People become annoyed, and our trainers have to explain it again.  PLEASE BE SURE THAT EVERYONE KNOWS THE RULES.  Attendance and participation is required, punctuality is rewarded, bikes are not chosen till the end, the trainers chose the bikes to be made available each day.
 +
 
 +
The bicycle must be paid for in full before the class begins. VBP is unable to provide any additional discount or credit. Payment is fully refundable (except lunch) if the buyer is unhappy with the selection, or doesn’t show up. Its good to have several extra people (with money) standing by in case a registrant doesn’t show up.
 +
 
 +
Bikes are not chosen until the end of the class. We suggest that those who arrive in time for the start of the class should be given first pick of bicycles.  Everyone who is present at the announced start time can draw a number from a hat.  Those who are late will pick their bike in order of first come first served.  This helps discourage people from coming in three hours late. 
 +
 
 +
In many cases our bicycles have components that may be new to the fitters (i.e. bike repairers) in your area.  We want local fitters to be involved in the class and the preparation of the bikes to familiarize them with any aspects of our bikes that they are not experienced with. They will receive special tools, spare parts and a half-day personal training before the class.  They will be the people the bike recipients will go to for major repairs after we’re gone. The local fitters are key to the sustainability of the bikes in your community, and they will also benefit by getting to know some of the best people in the Accra bike market. 
 +
 
 +
A set of repair tools will be awarded to the group. The tools are to be the property of the group, and are to be made available for use by all group members. You and your community will choose where the tools will be kept and any rules governing their use.  A second trip to your village will not include a second set of community tools.
 +
 
 +
During the class days it is expected that you will attend, and manage crowd control, sending away curious onlookers as soon as they become disruptive.  Take pictures and help out during practicals, making sure that all participants have a chance to do all the repairs and adjustments.  Be available in case the instructors need anything.  Participants are more likely to get unruly or uncooperative when the PCV is absent.  If the trainers are unhappy with a community, they refuse to return for more programs.
 +
 
 +
'''Women’s Classes'''
 +
 
 +
VBP also has classes with a curriculum tailored to women.  The requirements are the same as the regular class, only the curriculum is different and, when possible, it is taught by female instructors.  If you plan to hold more than five workshops, then one of them should be women-only.
 +
 
 +
'''Youngsters (experimental idea)'''
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 +
We have found that if there’s one or two small children attending they are overwhelmed by the adults, so anyone under 12 must have someone older with them in attendance.  However, if there are five or more kids, we can try to split them into a separate program.  We have seen seven year olds flourish in small groups with other kids.
 +
 
 +
'''Advanced Classes'''
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After everyone has their bikes we can do an advanced class.  This is a 4-hour workshop for those who want to learn more repair.  Local repairers can also join the advanced class.  At the end of every advanced class tools are sold to the participants at half-price.  Participants will bring their bikes and their specific questions and at the end of the class they can purchase tools, one of each type, based on first come first served.  No stand-ins are allowed.  If you haven’t attended a One-day class, you cannot attend advanced class.  In addition to furthering people’s knowledge, the advanced class is one way to increase the availability of tools that may be unique to our bicycles.
 +
 
 +
Organizing an advanced class is easy.  If three workshops have been held in your community, then you are urged to hold an advanced class.  So if you plan to register people for three workshops, plan an advanced class for the fourth day.  Same if the previoius PCV had one workshop you’re doing two.  Let them know of the Advanced class when they sign up and again during the One-day class.  Those who are interested will come and our instructors will do the rest.  There is a limit of 25 people per advanced class and you must inform VBP before we come if you intend to offer an advanced class so that we bring the tools.  Read on for a complete list of tools and prices.  Be forewarned that tool availability varies but we will do our best to bring everything on the list.  Prices are subject to change without notice. These are January 2009 prices, expect them to be no more than one-third higher in January 2010.
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 +
{|border="1"
 +
|+'''Extra Tools Available for Advanced Class'''
 +
|-
 +
!Type
 +
!Price (GHC)
 +
!Type
 +
!Price (GHC)
 +
|-
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|Foot pump
 +
|align="center"|1.30
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|Wire brush
 +
|align="center"|0.80
 +
|-
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|Car valve hose
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|align="center"|0.30
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|Screwdriver combo
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|align="center"|0.30
 +
|-
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|12 inch shifting spanner
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|align="center"|2.00
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|Machine oil
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|align="center"|0.30
 +
|-
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|Spanner set (8 - 22mm)
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|align="center"|4.00
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|Gas plier
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|align="center"|3.50
 +
|-
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|Cold patch
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|align="center"|0.30
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|Spokes key
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|align="center"|0.30
 +
|-
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|Chain remover
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|align="center"|0.80
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|Neck spanner
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|align="center"|1.80
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|-
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|Allen keys (4,5,6)
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|align="center"|0.80
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|Tire levers
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|align="center"|0.20
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|-
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|Free remover (common)
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|align="center"|0.80
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|Cone spanner (each)
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|align="center"|0.30
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|-
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|Free remover (2 pin)
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|align="center"|0.80
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|Sealed center remover
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|align="center"|1.30
 +
|-
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|Free, small (FR-4)
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|align="center"|0.80
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|8-9-10mm box spanner
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|align="center"|0.80
 
|-
 
|-
|[[2004]] - [[2006]]
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|Free, cassette (FR-5)
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|align="center"|0.80
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|Pedal and axle spanner
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|align="center"|N/A
 
|-
 
|-
|My wiki page [[Will Dickinson]]
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|Crank puller
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|align="center"|0.80
 +
|
 +
|align="center"|
 
|}
 
|}
  
== Job on the wiki ==
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===Action Plan===
 +
 +
'''Application  Part One'''
  
I've been doing most of the web administration on Peacecorpswiki which includes, improving the navigation, hierarchy, building templates, extensions, and includes. If you would like to HELP ADMINISTER part of the site please drop me message in my [[User:Willd?title=User_talk:Willd&action=edit|DISCUSSION]].
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(Please write a brief description to answer each question were appropriate.)
  
After returning to the states from Peace Corps and working for a year, I realized the my experience serving in the Peace Corps was not unique and that my knowledge of web-tools and the profusion of new open source software I could constructively address a dearth institutional memory publicly available about the Peace Corps by building a resource collector. After establishing my first wiki site http://www.mappc.org (designed just to capture community maps and information), I combined efforts with my colleague Mike Sheppard to begin to explore in depth the story and issues within Peace Corps.
+
# Provide the following information about the community.  Your name, what you do, your COS date your phone number, and an alternate in your community in case for some reason we can’t reach you.  Also Village/town name and population.  Distance to nearby market towns, and major towns.  Local language(s).  Road directions for how to get there from Accra, not which car to take. 
 +
# Select workshop location that is sheltered from sun and rain and able to keep out most curious onlookers. Unenclosed workspaces make for many problems.
 +
# Locate storage for the bikes.  The further you are from Accra, the longer you may have to wait from the time the bikes are delivered to the time of the program.  We hire a truck that drops all the bikes in the villages, and then the trainers come back to do the programs.  Sometimes one month will pass between the arrival of the bikes and the actual program.
 +
# Choose local bicycle repairers to be closely involved with the workshop. Limit two per program in the south and three per program in the north.  Include their names.  The local fitters are crucial to sustainability of your community’s bikes, so please make a serious effort. 
 +
# Locate housing for the team.  Sometimes there will be four people, (two men, two unrelated women) and sometimes only two men.  The women will need a room separate from the men. The length of stay depends on how many workshops you will hold and your distance from Accra.  We need protection from mosquitoes and rain.  We need mattresses, washing water and places that are secure from theft.  We need to be shown where to bathe and use the toilet.  Usually the trainers are well taken care of by host PCVs, but there have been some shameful exceptions.  Please make sure our people are taken care of.
 +
# Arrange to feed the class participants and add the cost to the bike price.  It can be very simple, like kenkey and fish, or groundnuts and bananas.  If we don’t feed them they usually don’t eat, and then they don’t pay good attention in the afternoon. Include locally acceptable drinking water.  Tell us your feeding plan.  The food MUST be ready no later than 1 PM each day.  No need to feed the Advanced class.
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# Apart from the noon meal, make certain that there is some place where we can get food. This is to be sure we don’t go hungry in some small small village that doesn’t have street food and chop bars.  We often pay for our own food.  George, one of our lead trainers, has diet restrictions; no meat, okro, groundnut soup or chicken.  Sometime PCVs arrange to feed us and add something to the bike price to cover it.
 +
# Select someone to administer the tools we give.  The tools should be made available for use by all bike recipients.  Include their name, and their role in the community. 
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# Have someone ready as interpreter, if necessary. Our trainers know most major Ghanaian languages except Ewe. We’ve known interpreters who’ve told the class to not ask any questions so they could close  early, so pick your interpreters carefully!!
 +
# How will participants be chosen?  How will payment be collected?  How much of this work will be delegated to a counterpart?  It is ESSENTIAL that the rules of the program are very well understood by all.  Our trainers waste a lot of time arguing with hotheads who don’t understand that we aren’t just selling bikes. The trainers have been instructed to insult you if it happens again ;~)  Sidenote: Twice out of 200+ workshops someone has delegated the signups and money collection to a counterpart and been ripped off.  In one case, the person just disappeared with the money.  When signups are delegated wholesale to someone in the village, that person suddenly has a lot of power.  It is an opportunity to pay back old debts, to endear or indebt others and a chance to collect something small for the service.  We’ve also seen one person control all the money and actually own all the bikes.  He later collected the bikes back when he raised the price and the people couldn’t pay.  Minimize the problems by being more personally involved in picking recipients.  If each person pays you themself for the bike, it is more likely their own money, and their own bike. We don’t want VBP to be just one more conduit for Africa’s endemic corruption.
 +
# How many workshops do you want to hold?  How many women’s classes?  Keep in mind that there should be 20 people per class.  It will be easier to reduce later than to add so estimate high. Do you intend to hold an advanced class?  Do you anticipate many children under 12 years old?
  
From late 2007 until the present, I have been administering the Peace Corps Wiki as well as the other sites managed by Developmentary including the Peace Corps Journals. I have made sure that this platform takes advantage of the last developments including Semantic Media Wiki and dozens of extension so the wiki can interact with other web technology. This has entailed thousands of hours of research, technical design, and administration with an average of two to three hours of work per day.
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Email application to info@VillageBicycleProject.org for approval and scheduling. Once we receive your application, you will be given a rough estimate of when we can hold the workshops and when you’ll need to complete sign-ups, collect money, and order your bikes.  
  
Recently, the National Peace Corps Association recognized my work by including me on a committee along with representatives from Yahoo, IBM, and Idealist.org tasked with the technological design and implantation of the new social networking site: Peace Corps Connect.
 
http://www.developmentary.org
 
I have excellent written and oral communication skills, careful attention to detail; ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously, ability to work with a team and independently, creativity and resourcefulness, and marketing and database experience (In Design, Photoshop, and Microsoft Office.) I have been an active implementer of web seminars and a CRM developer.  I have provided information sessions to show people what can be done with wiki technology.  http://www.peacecorpswiki.org/Slideshows
 
  
Changes are occurring in the field of development that require a more transparent and worldly outlook; I believe an awareness of online resources is ideal way to facilitate this change. 
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===Budget===
  
For questions regarding FOIA and the documents and welcome books please drop [[User:Mike|Mike Sheppard]] a line
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'''Application Part Two'''
  
== Consulting For Hire==
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Part Two of the application process is where you register participants, collect money and order the bikes.
Can Will Dickinson build a wiki for you or your organization?  YES!!! I will provide a scalable open source solution for you or your organization this would include: Setting up & maintaining Semantic MediaWiki with SemanticForms; designing templates, forms and collaboration.  
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Please send an email for a free estimate based on your needs to: will AT willdickinson DOT com
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Scheduling Workshops and Bicycle Availability
  
== Resume ==
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Precise scheduling for your programs is impossible. We can give you an approximation about two months ahead.  This is because we allocate your bicycles from shipments as they are loaded in places across the seas.  Once shipped, the bikes can reach the Tema port anywhere from one week early to four months late. The best way to deal with this is to be vague with your community and flexible.  
*http://www.willdickinson.com/resume
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 +
VBP intends to inform you when your bikes have left their source overseas, which means probably three months or less to wait.  It might be a good idea to not begin collecting money until the ship with your bikes on it has sailed.  The longer you hold people’s money the more nervous they get, and the more they will be worrying you about when the bikes are coming. But if you wait too long to start collecting money, maybe people will not be able to save up in time.
  
== More About Me (third person) ==
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Another problem arises when we don’t receive enough quality bikes in the shipment. It would help if you were to ask the community to be willing to accept a bike different from what they requested, and take the refund. For example, say someone wants a mountain bike at GH¢27.  Is s/he willing to accept a straight bar narrow tire and a GH¢8 refund?  We often have more requests for mountain bikes than we can meet, so any flexibility in your community helps.
Will Dickinson was born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia only a few miles south of Washington, DC. Attending high school in the District heavily influenced him with its expansive cultural and international resources. After high school commencement, Will enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania hoping to cultivate his interests in geology, geography, and anthropology. After graduating from UPenn with a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts, he traveled to the Black Sea region where he worked closely with Frederick Hiebert on an archaeological expedition on the Black Sea coast of Turkey.[i] After graduation Will was employed as an architectural consultant then decided to embark on a world tour with the intent of experiencing the major geological and architectural features of various cultures. Although the traveling experience was both fascinating and enlightening, Will felt limited by time and language constraints. His decision to join the Peace Corps was heavily influenced by this trip.
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Will served in Armenia from 2004 to 2006 as an environmental education volunteer in the towns of Jermuk and Ijevan. His first year, which proved to be a difficult cultural adjustment, was a mix of intensive language training and working with the Red Cross and schools in Jermuk. During this time, the lack of institutional memory within the Peace Corps became increasingly apparent to Will. There was no way to access records of the work of his half dozen predecessors, nor did it appear that there even were records of their specific projects. After a year in Jermuk, Will found that there was not sufficient work to keep him occupied. He documented and presented this information to the country administration and was allowed to change sites. At the new site in Ijevan, Will engaged in a productive educational leadership program that focused on community planning and training. This program was designed to train local community stakeholders in the use of new technologies such as GPS and GIS and was funded by World Vision and the EU. The remainder of Will's Peace Corps service was spent working on this project. [ii]
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Once you have registered everyone and the type of bicycle they want (see types of bicycles, prices below) you can place your order to George or Samson in Accra (we’ll tell you which one). From this point on they will be your main contact people for scheduling and details. They will give you a deadline to place your order, please respect it.
  
After returning to the States and working for a year, Will realized that his frustrating Peace Corps experience resulting from the lack of records of previous volunteer projects was not unique to him. He decided that with his knowledge of web tools and the profusion of new open source software, he could constructively address this issue by building a resource collector for the institutional memory of the Peace Corps. After establishing his first wiki site map designed to capture community maps and information[iii], Will combined his efforts to expand the Peace Corps Wiki with Mike Sheppard, a former volunteer who had served in the Gambia.[iv] The two began to explore the history, issues, and potential of the Peace Corps as well its connection to its returned volunteer community. Since January 2008, Will has been administering the Peace Corps Wiki as well as the Peace Corps Journals website[v] that strives to keep current, former, and prospective Peace Corps Volunteers in touch with one another. Both websites are managed by Developmentary Inc.,[vi] the nonprofit cofounded by Dickinson and Sheppard. Together, these two former volunteers have logged thousands of hours of research, tech design, and administration.
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George Aidoo 024-381-4582, 027-740-1928  geofaido@hotmail.com
 +
Samson Ayine 024-276-6759, 020-819-2139  samyine@hotmail.com
 +
 
 +
'''Placing Your Order'''
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Anticipate what style and size of bikes you want.   Note whether each person is short medium or tall and we’ll try to bring comparable sized bikes, you don’t want anyone stuck with a bike too big or too small. Prices listed below are one-half of Accra price, as of January 2009.
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 +
{| border="1"
 +
|+ '''Prices'''
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|-
 +
! Bike Size
 +
! Price (GHC)
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|-
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| Mountain bike (24” and 26” wheels)
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| align="center" |27
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|-
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|Narrow tires, either racer or street bar    
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| align="center" |19
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|-
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|British mail bike w/basket frame and mountain wheels
 +
| align="center" |24
 +
|-
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|Children’s bikes
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|align="center"| 11
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
Pictures are available available at http://www.VillageBicycleProject.prg/onedaybikes.htm  Please check with George or Samson for the latest info on prices and available styles.
 +
 
 +
Cut and paste the matrix below then email it to George or Samson and to vbp@pcei.org.
 +
 
 +
{|border="1"
 +
|+'''Bike Order Matrix'''
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|-
 +
!Name
 +
!Gender
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!Bike Style
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!Size (S,M,L)
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!Price*
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!Flexible?** (Yes or No)
 +
|-
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|Participant 1
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|
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|
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|
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|
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|
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|-
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|Participant 2
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|
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|
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|
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|
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|
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|-
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|[add rows as needed]
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|
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|
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|
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|
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|
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|}
  
Recently, the National Peace Corps Association recognized their work by including both Dickinson and Sheppard on a committee, along with representatives of Yahoo, IBM, and Idealist.org, that has been tasked with the technological design and implementation of a new Peace Corps volunteer social networking site entitled Peace Corps Connect.[vii]
 
  
In addition to Will's work with Developmentary Inc., his most recent employment was with the United States National Park Service, Cultural Resources division, American Historical Engineering Record.[viii]In this position, Will was charged with completing a cultural landscape evaluation study and historical drawing set on the Brunt Mills historic site near Bethesda, Maryland for submission to the Library of Congress. During his time in the San Francisco Bay area, Will conducted several architectural, landscape, and preservation projects for UC Berkeley as a Landscape Survey Leader and as a researcher for the Heart Greek Theater Historical Survey Report, 2007. Additionally, he served as a survey leader for UC Berkeley's Durant Hall as well as a leader of recordation, mitigation studies, and drawings for the UC Berkeley Faculty Club. He also served as a consultant on historical landscapes for the Salz Tannery in Santa Cruz.
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* *Tell us what the total price for each bike will be, and explain all surcharges.  
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* **Are they willing to take a substitute bike of the same size for lower price?
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*Do you have the 20% female minimum? 
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*Anyone under 12 needs an older person present. If you have more than five young-guns we can try to arrange a separate class, in which case adult attendance becomes optional.
  
Will's current interests are in geography, architecture, urban design, and art. At the moment, he is focusing on the researching and planning activities of past and present civilizations in order to investigate the history of sustainable design and resource management. Will would like to design a method to express these processes visually and spatially with the goal of developing new strategies for sustainable development and design solutions with economic incentives. The desired result would be more effectively managed resources in micro-watersheds as well as around the world.
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===Peace Corps Resources===
  
Will Dickinson currently resides in Philadelphia, PA where he continues to study constructive and analytic drawing and architecture at the Studio Incamminati.[ix]
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Recruit other volunteers to help because you will need it!
  
[i] http://www.willdickinson.com/blacksea_expedition_1999/
 
  
[ii]http://www.willdickinson.com/2008/06/27/mapping-peace-corps/
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===Project Reflection and Sustainability===
  
[iii] http://www.mappc.org
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'''Advice from PCVs'''
  
[iv]http://www.msu.edu/~sheppa28/
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* Make sure everyone knows the rules. Go over the rules with your counterpart a few times to makes sure they are clear to them because they will be explaining it to most of the people. This is the most important thing you can do to make your project run smoothly.
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* Make sure you add enough money to the bicycles to pay for all of your expenses. Expenses come up you do not expect and it is better to have too much than not enough.
 +
* Be very careful when collecting the money.  I allowed my counterpart and supervisor to collect money but I kept the money myself.
 +
* Provide food for the trainers. Just add it to the cost of the bicycle it is a nice thing to do and the trainers really appreciate it. 
 +
* Make bicycle selection simple and clear.  I numbered pieces of paper from 1-20 and at the end of the class people drew numbers out of a hat. 1 was first pick, 2 second etc.
 +
* Stress the start time of the class. If you need to tell them it starts an hour earlier than it actually does.
 +
* Do not schedule women on market day. They will not want to stay for the class and they will be trying to get away all day.
 +
* Make sure your local repairer is good and willing to help every day.  The local repairers play a very critical role in this project and they are the key to its sustainability.
 +
* Do not stress too much. It will not work out just like you planned it but it will work out just fine.
 +
* Enjoy it. Watching someone take their bicycles away with a huge smile definitely makes it all worth it.
  
[v] http://www.peacecorpsjournals.com
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'''Advice from VBP Staff'''
  
[vi] http://www.developmentary.org
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* Please emphasize to registrants the attendance and punctuality requirements, especially if you are having a counterpart manage signups.  Start time is 8 AM, everyone present at 8 AM gets to choose their bike before those who arrive after 8.  If you arrive at 5 AM you do not have preference over someone who arrives just before 8.    If you will use some other method to decide who chooses their bikes first, please make sure that all participants understand the way you will be doing it.  Please be sure they know that they must be present for the full class in order to qualify for the discounted price.
 +
* Scam alert!  One trick is to pay for more than one bike and get others to attend in their place(s).  One way to avoid this is to require each person to come to you and pay for their bike themselves.  Do not allow anyone to claim to be a spokesperson for others.  Each person should have the procedure clearly explained directly to them, so at the very least the stand-ins aren’t tricked.  The procedure is this: you attend the free class and it qualifies you for a bike at half of the Accra price. 
 +
* The VBP instructor will decide which bikes are offered each day, and bike selection is not made until the end of class each day.  If everyone knows this beforehand, it will prevent misunderstandings.
 +
* '''Please tell people not to send stand-ins or substitutes.'''  (We have not been enforcing this, but we reserve the right to do so!).  A special reminder to the women, if she is the one to be using the bike she needs to attend the class to learn about repair.  It is not true that women cannot do bike repair. Please emphasize this as we have been seeing a lot of men standing in for women.
  
[vii] http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org
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'''After the Workshop'''
  
[viii] http://www.nps.gov/hdp/haer/index.htm
+
Completing a report.   We welcome your feedback. Really!  Your report will help us do follow-up studies of the workshop and to learn if the project accomplishes our goals. It can also help us fund more workshops.
 +
# Who signed up the participants, who handled the payment for the bikes, and how did it go? 
 +
# Does the workshop and bikes adequately address the transport needs of those people who need them most?  Why or why not?
 +
# The names of the village repairers, what they received, and a little bit about the personal training they got.
 +
# A photo of the group with their bikes.
 +
# The rumor mill says VBP is difficult to work with.  True or false?  Why or why not?  How can we do better?
 +
# Interview three people about how the bikes improve their lives. If possible, take photos of each of the three interviewees with their bikes.
 +
## How do they use their bike?
 +
## How does it help them, if it helps them?
 +
## Does it save money?
 +
## How did they get the money to pay for the bike?
 +
## Did they learn anything helpful at the workshop?
 +
## What do they wish the workshop would have taught that it did not?
  
[ix] http://www.studioincamminati.org
+
Send by email or post. info@VillageBicycleProject.org                          
 +
Village Bicycle Project, 913 S. Jefferson, Moscow, ID 83843 USA.

Latest revision as of 13:59, 21 May 2014


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Title[edit]

Village Bicycle Project

Purpose and Approach[edit]

Village Bicycle Project offers a one-day class in bike maintenance and repair that includes discounted bicycles, (prices are on page 5). In order to qualify for the reduced bikes, attendees must fully participate in an 8 hour bicycle repair workshop. It is limited to 20 people, and focuses on preventative maintenance, puncture repair and adjustments. We require that at least 20 percent of the participants are women and encourage you to make it even more. It is not true that women cannot learn bike repair and we ask that you help dispel such stereotypes in your community.

We suggest that you print this out and save it. There is a lot of information here you will need to refer to throughout the process of:

  1. initial application,
  2. ordering bikes, and explaining the peculiarities of the program to the community,
  3. when the program comes, and
  4. report and follow-up.

(Syllabus is available on line at villagebicycleproject.org/onedayout.htm)

We’ve held about 200 of these workshops with Peace Corps Volunteers since 2001. PCVs report that organizing the program is a lot of work, so keep that in mind! Many have also reported that it was among the best things they did for their communities during their two years.

Why they must attend a class to get a bike:

  1. A little maintenance saves a lot of money and time. Many people are inclined to simply hop on and ride away. The class makes them stop and notice how things work. A little preventative maintenance teaches for example, that riding on under inflated tires will cost many cedis in replacement of spoiled tires and tubes.
  2. The class discourages scammers from buying discounted bikes only to then sell them on the open market, thus depriving those we wish to benefit.
  3. The class and cost-sharing make it more likely that the people are serious about owning and caring for their bicycles.

Class participants are each entitled to one bike. Those arriving late, leaving early or missing portions of the class may be disqualified and will receive their money back. This message has not been adequately reaching the participants, and we commonly have someone show up two hours late to pick their bike and go. People become annoyed, and our trainers have to explain it again. PLEASE BE SURE THAT EVERYONE KNOWS THE RULES. Attendance and participation is required, punctuality is rewarded, bikes are not chosen till the end, the trainers chose the bikes to be made available each day.

The bicycle must be paid for in full before the class begins. VBP is unable to provide any additional discount or credit. Payment is fully refundable (except lunch) if the buyer is unhappy with the selection, or doesn’t show up. Its good to have several extra people (with money) standing by in case a registrant doesn’t show up.

Bikes are not chosen until the end of the class. We suggest that those who arrive in time for the start of the class should be given first pick of bicycles. Everyone who is present at the announced start time can draw a number from a hat. Those who are late will pick their bike in order of first come first served. This helps discourage people from coming in three hours late.

In many cases our bicycles have components that may be new to the fitters (i.e. bike repairers) in your area. We want local fitters to be involved in the class and the preparation of the bikes to familiarize them with any aspects of our bikes that they are not experienced with. They will receive special tools, spare parts and a half-day personal training before the class. They will be the people the bike recipients will go to for major repairs after we’re gone. The local fitters are key to the sustainability of the bikes in your community, and they will also benefit by getting to know some of the best people in the Accra bike market.

A set of repair tools will be awarded to the group. The tools are to be the property of the group, and are to be made available for use by all group members. You and your community will choose where the tools will be kept and any rules governing their use. A second trip to your village will not include a second set of community tools.

During the class days it is expected that you will attend, and manage crowd control, sending away curious onlookers as soon as they become disruptive. Take pictures and help out during practicals, making sure that all participants have a chance to do all the repairs and adjustments. Be available in case the instructors need anything. Participants are more likely to get unruly or uncooperative when the PCV is absent. If the trainers are unhappy with a community, they refuse to return for more programs.

Women’s Classes

VBP also has classes with a curriculum tailored to women. The requirements are the same as the regular class, only the curriculum is different and, when possible, it is taught by female instructors. If you plan to hold more than five workshops, then one of them should be women-only.

Youngsters (experimental idea)

We have found that if there’s one or two small children attending they are overwhelmed by the adults, so anyone under 12 must have someone older with them in attendance. However, if there are five or more kids, we can try to split them into a separate program. We have seen seven year olds flourish in small groups with other kids.

Advanced Classes

After everyone has their bikes we can do an advanced class. This is a 4-hour workshop for those who want to learn more repair. Local repairers can also join the advanced class. At the end of every advanced class tools are sold to the participants at half-price. Participants will bring their bikes and their specific questions and at the end of the class they can purchase tools, one of each type, based on first come first served. No stand-ins are allowed. If you haven’t attended a One-day class, you cannot attend advanced class. In addition to furthering people’s knowledge, the advanced class is one way to increase the availability of tools that may be unique to our bicycles.

Organizing an advanced class is easy. If three workshops have been held in your community, then you are urged to hold an advanced class. So if you plan to register people for three workshops, plan an advanced class for the fourth day. Same if the previoius PCV had one workshop you’re doing two. Let them know of the Advanced class when they sign up and again during the One-day class. Those who are interested will come and our instructors will do the rest. There is a limit of 25 people per advanced class and you must inform VBP before we come if you intend to offer an advanced class so that we bring the tools. Read on for a complete list of tools and prices. Be forewarned that tool availability varies but we will do our best to bring everything on the list. Prices are subject to change without notice. These are January 2009 prices, expect them to be no more than one-third higher in January 2010.

Extra Tools Available for Advanced Class
Type Price (GHC) Type Price (GHC)
Foot pump 1.30 Wire brush 0.80
Car valve hose 0.30 Screwdriver combo 0.30
12 inch shifting spanner 2.00 Machine oil 0.30
Spanner set (8 - 22mm) 4.00 Gas plier 3.50
Cold patch 0.30 Spokes key 0.30
Chain remover 0.80 Neck spanner 1.80
Allen keys (4,5,6) 0.80 Tire levers 0.20
Free remover (common) 0.80 Cone spanner (each) 0.30
Free remover (2 pin) 0.80 Sealed center remover 1.30
Free, small (FR-4) 0.80 8-9-10mm box spanner 0.80
Free, cassette (FR-5) 0.80 Pedal and axle spanner N/A
Crank puller 0.80

Action Plan[edit]

Application Part One

(Please write a brief description to answer each question were appropriate.)

  1. Provide the following information about the community. Your name, what you do, your COS date your phone number, and an alternate in your community in case for some reason we can’t reach you. Also Village/town name and population. Distance to nearby market towns, and major towns. Local language(s). Road directions for how to get there from Accra, not which car to take.
  2. Select workshop location that is sheltered from sun and rain and able to keep out most curious onlookers. Unenclosed workspaces make for many problems.
  3. Locate storage for the bikes. The further you are from Accra, the longer you may have to wait from the time the bikes are delivered to the time of the program. We hire a truck that drops all the bikes in the villages, and then the trainers come back to do the programs. Sometimes one month will pass between the arrival of the bikes and the actual program.
  4. Choose local bicycle repairers to be closely involved with the workshop. Limit two per program in the south and three per program in the north. Include their names. The local fitters are crucial to sustainability of your community’s bikes, so please make a serious effort.
  5. Locate housing for the team. Sometimes there will be four people, (two men, two unrelated women) and sometimes only two men. The women will need a room separate from the men. The length of stay depends on how many workshops you will hold and your distance from Accra. We need protection from mosquitoes and rain. We need mattresses, washing water and places that are secure from theft. We need to be shown where to bathe and use the toilet. Usually the trainers are well taken care of by host PCVs, but there have been some shameful exceptions. Please make sure our people are taken care of.
  6. Arrange to feed the class participants and add the cost to the bike price. It can be very simple, like kenkey and fish, or groundnuts and bananas. If we don’t feed them they usually don’t eat, and then they don’t pay good attention in the afternoon. Include locally acceptable drinking water. Tell us your feeding plan. The food MUST be ready no later than 1 PM each day. No need to feed the Advanced class.
  7. Apart from the noon meal, make certain that there is some place where we can get food. This is to be sure we don’t go hungry in some small small village that doesn’t have street food and chop bars. We often pay for our own food. George, one of our lead trainers, has diet restrictions; no meat, okro, groundnut soup or chicken. Sometime PCVs arrange to feed us and add something to the bike price to cover it.
  8. Select someone to administer the tools we give. The tools should be made available for use by all bike recipients. Include their name, and their role in the community.
  9. Have someone ready as interpreter, if necessary. Our trainers know most major Ghanaian languages except Ewe. We’ve known interpreters who’ve told the class to not ask any questions so they could close early, so pick your interpreters carefully!!
  10. How will participants be chosen? How will payment be collected? How much of this work will be delegated to a counterpart? It is ESSENTIAL that the rules of the program are very well understood by all. Our trainers waste a lot of time arguing with hotheads who don’t understand that we aren’t just selling bikes. The trainers have been instructed to insult you if it happens again ;~) Sidenote: Twice out of 200+ workshops someone has delegated the signups and money collection to a counterpart and been ripped off. In one case, the person just disappeared with the money. When signups are delegated wholesale to someone in the village, that person suddenly has a lot of power. It is an opportunity to pay back old debts, to endear or indebt others and a chance to collect something small for the service. We’ve also seen one person control all the money and actually own all the bikes. He later collected the bikes back when he raised the price and the people couldn’t pay. Minimize the problems by being more personally involved in picking recipients. If each person pays you themself for the bike, it is more likely their own money, and their own bike. We don’t want VBP to be just one more conduit for Africa’s endemic corruption.
  11. How many workshops do you want to hold? How many women’s classes? Keep in mind that there should be 20 people per class. It will be easier to reduce later than to add so estimate high. Do you intend to hold an advanced class? Do you anticipate many children under 12 years old?

Email application to info@VillageBicycleProject.org for approval and scheduling. Once we receive your application, you will be given a rough estimate of when we can hold the workshops and when you’ll need to complete sign-ups, collect money, and order your bikes.


Budget[edit]

Application Part Two

Part Two of the application process is where you register participants, collect money and order the bikes.

Scheduling Workshops and Bicycle Availability

Precise scheduling for your programs is impossible. We can give you an approximation about two months ahead. This is because we allocate your bicycles from shipments as they are loaded in places across the seas. Once shipped, the bikes can reach the Tema port anywhere from one week early to four months late. The best way to deal with this is to be vague with your community and flexible.

VBP intends to inform you when your bikes have left their source overseas, which means probably three months or less to wait. It might be a good idea to not begin collecting money until the ship with your bikes on it has sailed. The longer you hold people’s money the more nervous they get, and the more they will be worrying you about when the bikes are coming. But if you wait too long to start collecting money, maybe people will not be able to save up in time.

Another problem arises when we don’t receive enough quality bikes in the shipment. It would help if you were to ask the community to be willing to accept a bike different from what they requested, and take the refund. For example, say someone wants a mountain bike at GH¢27. Is s/he willing to accept a straight bar narrow tire and a GH¢8 refund? We often have more requests for mountain bikes than we can meet, so any flexibility in your community helps.

Once you have registered everyone and the type of bicycle they want (see types of bicycles, prices below) you can place your order to George or Samson in Accra (we’ll tell you which one). From this point on they will be your main contact people for scheduling and details. They will give you a deadline to place your order, please respect it.

George Aidoo 024-381-4582, 027-740-1928 geofaido@hotmail.com Samson Ayine 024-276-6759, 020-819-2139 samyine@hotmail.com

Placing Your Order

Anticipate what style and size of bikes you want. Note whether each person is short medium or tall and we’ll try to bring comparable sized bikes, you don’t want anyone stuck with a bike too big or too small. Prices listed below are one-half of Accra price, as of January 2009.

Prices
Bike Size Price (GHC)
Mountain bike (24” and 26” wheels) 27
Narrow tires, either racer or street bar 19
British mail bike w/basket frame and mountain wheels 24
Children’s bikes 11

Pictures are available available at http://www.VillageBicycleProject.prg/onedaybikes.htm Please check with George or Samson for the latest info on prices and available styles.

Cut and paste the matrix below then email it to George or Samson and to vbp@pcei.org.

Bike Order Matrix
Name Gender Bike Style Size (S,M,L) Price* Flexible?** (Yes or No)
Participant 1
Participant 2
[add rows as needed]


  • *Tell us what the total price for each bike will be, and explain all surcharges.
  • **Are they willing to take a substitute bike of the same size for lower price?
  • Do you have the 20% female minimum?
  • Anyone under 12 needs an older person present. If you have more than five young-guns we can try to arrange a separate class, in which case adult attendance becomes optional.

Peace Corps Resources[edit]

Recruit other volunteers to help because you will need it!


Project Reflection and Sustainability[edit]

Advice from PCVs

  • Make sure everyone knows the rules. Go over the rules with your counterpart a few times to makes sure they are clear to them because they will be explaining it to most of the people. This is the most important thing you can do to make your project run smoothly.
  • Make sure you add enough money to the bicycles to pay for all of your expenses. Expenses come up you do not expect and it is better to have too much than not enough.
  • Be very careful when collecting the money. I allowed my counterpart and supervisor to collect money but I kept the money myself.
  • Provide food for the trainers. Just add it to the cost of the bicycle it is a nice thing to do and the trainers really appreciate it.
  • Make bicycle selection simple and clear. I numbered pieces of paper from 1-20 and at the end of the class people drew numbers out of a hat. 1 was first pick, 2 second etc.
  • Stress the start time of the class. If you need to tell them it starts an hour earlier than it actually does.
  • Do not schedule women on market day. They will not want to stay for the class and they will be trying to get away all day.
  • Make sure your local repairer is good and willing to help every day. The local repairers play a very critical role in this project and they are the key to its sustainability.
  • Do not stress too much. It will not work out just like you planned it but it will work out just fine.
  • Enjoy it. Watching someone take their bicycles away with a huge smile definitely makes it all worth it.

Advice from VBP Staff

  • Please emphasize to registrants the attendance and punctuality requirements, especially if you are having a counterpart manage signups. Start time is 8 AM, everyone present at 8 AM gets to choose their bike before those who arrive after 8. If you arrive at 5 AM you do not have preference over someone who arrives just before 8. If you will use some other method to decide who chooses their bikes first, please make sure that all participants understand the way you will be doing it. Please be sure they know that they must be present for the full class in order to qualify for the discounted price.
  • Scam alert! One trick is to pay for more than one bike and get others to attend in their place(s). One way to avoid this is to require each person to come to you and pay for their bike themselves. Do not allow anyone to claim to be a spokesperson for others. Each person should have the procedure clearly explained directly to them, so at the very least the stand-ins aren’t tricked. The procedure is this: you attend the free class and it qualifies you for a bike at half of the Accra price.
  • The VBP instructor will decide which bikes are offered each day, and bike selection is not made until the end of class each day. If everyone knows this beforehand, it will prevent misunderstandings.
  • Please tell people not to send stand-ins or substitutes. (We have not been enforcing this, but we reserve the right to do so!). A special reminder to the women, if she is the one to be using the bike she needs to attend the class to learn about repair. It is not true that women cannot do bike repair. Please emphasize this as we have been seeing a lot of men standing in for women.

After the Workshop

Completing a report. We welcome your feedback. Really! Your report will help us do follow-up studies of the workshop and to learn if the project accomplishes our goals. It can also help us fund more workshops.

  1. Who signed up the participants, who handled the payment for the bikes, and how did it go?
  2. Does the workshop and bikes adequately address the transport needs of those people who need them most? Why or why not?
  3. The names of the village repairers, what they received, and a little bit about the personal training they got.
  4. A photo of the group with their bikes.
  5. The rumor mill says VBP is difficult to work with. True or false? Why or why not? How can we do better?
  6. Interview three people about how the bikes improve their lives. If possible, take photos of each of the three interviewees with their bikes.
    1. How do they use their bike?
    2. How does it help them, if it helps them?
    3. Does it save money?
    4. How did they get the money to pay for the bike?
    5. Did they learn anything helpful at the workshop?
    6. What do they wish the workshop would have taught that it did not?

Send by email or post. info@VillageBicycleProject.org Village Bicycle Project, 913 S. Jefferson, Moscow, ID 83843 USA.