Seattle, WA – 88bikes Foundation – a nonprofit organization that gives bikes to kids in developing countries – announced today that it has been selected by the Nell Newman Foundation to receive a grant supporting its newest project, Asha 2012. The Seattle organization’s sixth and most ambitious project to date, Asha 2012 will endow bicycles to thousands of girls – primarily those who having endured and transcended slavery and abuse – living in regions from Eastern Europe to Southeast Asia. The first endowment of bikes will take place in Summer 2012.
“The 88bikes model is refreshing and effective,” said Nell Newman. “It empowers women though a grassroots and somewhat radical approach. Bikes are such a fantastic, low cost way to expand an individual’s freedom – freedom to move, freedom to do commerce – and receiving one will make a profound difference to these girls who have transcended so much already. We are happy to be supporting their efforts.”
The Nell Newman Foundation is a private foundation dedicated to humanitarian, scientific and environmental action that foster a resilient and restorative ecology. Nell Newman established the Nell Newman Foundation in November of 2010 with the goal of carrying on her father legacy of charitable giving, coupled with her passion for the environment. The Foundation makes grants in ten core program areas: environment, education, arts & culture, spiritual, scientific, human services, emergency relief, animal welfare, and international affairs.
“We are deeply grateful to the Nell Newman Foundation for their belief in our mission and projects,” said Dan Austin, co-founder of 88bikes. “We’ve witnessed the power of a bike in helping heroic kids around the world reclaim their shattered childhoods and be happy, and the Nell Newman Foundation’s support is crucial to helping us fulfill our Asha 2012 project. Thanks to this generous grant, thousands of girls will receive bikes and learn to maintain and enjoy their bikes fully.”
2012 was inspired by 88bikes’ 2010 endowment of bicycles to every girl living in an ashram in remote Bihar, India. Survivors of sexual slavery, they were sheltered by 88bikes’ nongovernmental agency partner, Free the Slaves, for several months before reintegrating back into their communities. The namesake for the project, “Asha” (her name has been changed to honor her privacy), had been sold into slavery by a neighbor in her village. She escaped after a week and found her way to the Bihar Ashram to recover. After six months at the ashram, Asha reintegrated back into the same community from which she was sold, a striking example of courage and resiliency. Asha means “hope” in Sanskrit.
88bikes is currently accepting sponsorships of $88 per bike for Asha 2012. Donations can be made online at www.88bikes.org. Donors are asked to email a picture of themselves, to be presented with the bike. In return, 88bikes sends back a photo of the child with her new bike and her donor’s picture.