You might think of a bicycle as just a means of recreation, but in many places it enables Red Cross volunteers to deliver services in remote villages.
When a natural disaster strikes other countries, the consequences often reach far beyond the initial event, leading to higher food prices, displacement, environmental degradation and increased exposure to disease.
The American Red Cross began working with the Uganda Red Cross Society in 2010 to reduce the risk of disasters in the Teso sub-region by building the capacity of local communities to identify, prepare for and respond to hazards.
The Uganda Red Cross worked with the communities of the selected parishes to form community-based disaster risk reduction groups of 20 members per parish. Each group member received a bicycle for mobilization, which made it possible for volunteers to reach areas inaccessible to cars.Bicycles give Red Cross volunteers a way to reach remote villages.
Activities included training local volunteers on disaster preparedness best practices, conducting community risk assessments and teaching communities how to plan and manage projects.
The communities also identified and implemented projects to help respond to recurring hazards they may face—from building flood-resistant huts to planting trees to prevent soil erosion.
You can support American Red Cross work at home and abroad by making a gift through the 2011 Holiday Giving Catalog. This year, give something that means something!