January 6, 2004 — Fuji Bicycles joins the worldwide tsunami relief efforts by donating mountain bikes to the emergency and disaster relief workers in Southeast Asia. Recognizing both the immediate and long-term requirements of this relief effort, Fuji will donate 50 bikes each year for the next three years. Fuji hopes these bikes will help nurses and health care service providers reach the more remote and disaster-ridden areas in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and the other countries whose coastlines were devastated by the December 26th 9.0 earthquake.
In areas where roads and airstrips may have been destroyed, these utilitarian-style mountain bikes will assist relief workers who may not otherwise be able to reach some of the more remote victims of the tragedy. The bikes come fully equipped with rear carriers, fenders and light sets.
As with countless other people from all over the globe, the employees at Fuji responded to the urgent need for assistance after finding themselves feeling helpless, not knowing the best way to help the victims of the tragedy.
“This company has a great soul,” said Karen Bliss, Fuji Bicycles Marketing Communications Manager. “I am so proud to be working with such a compassionate group of people. It truly was amazing the way this initiative came together. The tragedy is so unfathomable. The images are so heart-wrenching. We just all felt that we needed to do something and instead of sitting around talking about it, we developed a plan.”
In a collaborative effort, Fuji Bicycles will join the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy in getting the bicycles to Asia through the proper channels. “Bicycles are extremely valuable in helping deliver health care, especially when medical staff has to reach many people in difficult conditions,” said Aimee Gauthier, African Program Manager at ITDP. “We are working with Fuji to help get the bicycles directly to the relief workers who need them most.”
ITDP is a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable and equitable transportation in developing countries, including providing health care workers with bicycles, improving conditions for cyclists, and improving access to better quality bicycles. More information is available at www.itdp.org.
Bicycles can also help those who are managing camps serving displaced people be more mobile around the area and respond more quickly to emergencies. In Indonesia, 11,000 people are living in six camps because their homes and villages have been destroyed.