AIA Australia celebrates World Bicycle Day by partnering with global not-for-profit

Collaboration aims to help rural, low-income communities globally

AIA Australia celebrates World Bicycle Day by partnering with global not-for-profit

Insurance News

By Roxanne Libatique

AIA Australia (AIA), one of Australia's top life insurance providers this year, teamed up with World Bicycle Relief Australia to celebrate World Bicycle Day last Friday, June 03.

World Bicycle Relief Australia is an international not-for-profit that helps rural, low-income communities with mobility by providing them with bicycles.

As part of the partnership, members of AIA's health and wellbeing platform AIA Vitality can donate to World Bicycle Relief to ensure more students, healthcare workers, and business owners around the world are equipped with purpose-built Buffalo Bicycles – especially in Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Columbia, where bicycles can overcome distance-related challenges preventing people from attending school, receiving healthcare, delivering goods to markets, and accessing other critical services.

Buffalo Bicycles are locally assembled and built for heavy loads on tough roads. According to World Bicycle Relief, female students who used Buffalo Bicycles were 19% less likely to drop out of school, while absenteeism was reduced by 28% and commute times by 33%. Meanwhile, In Zambia, community health workers who used bicycles quadrupled the frequency of their visits to patients. In Kenya, health workers who used bicycles saw 88% more patients than had been possible on foot.

“Currently, more than one billion people in rural regions lack access to reliable roads and affordable transportation. This makes it extremely difficult for low-income communities to break the cycle of poverty,” said Di Mason, development director of World Bicycle Relief. “With the support of AIA Australia, not only can we deliver more bicycles, but we can continue to build a sustainable bicycle ecosystem in the countries where we work. This includes assembling bicycles locally, training mechanics, and ensuring access to parts and maintenance support.”

As an extension of the new partnership, AIA has become a 2022 Pedal Partner of World Bicycle Relief's global fundraising event, “Pedal to Empower,” an all-abilities ride mobilising cyclists globally in celebration of World Bicycle Day, with individuals contributing to the global goal of riding one million kilometres. Funds raised by event participants ensure more girls and women receive bicycles to overcome distance-related challenges.

Ben Walsh, chief distribution and propositions officer at AIA and chair of World Bicycle Relief Australia, commented: “It's been inspiring to be involved with World Bicycle Relief as a board member for three years, and I'm excited that our partnership with World Bicycle Relief will allow our AIA Vitality members to support such an important cause.

“When a group of like-minded people come together, they can create a significant and lasting positive impact. A series of small donations can add up and provide one person with a Buffalo Bicycle, which will then be a catalyst of change in their community.”

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