Velafrica connects work and integration in Switzerland with development in Africa.
Since 1993 the Non-Profit Organisation has collected old, worn-out bicycles, refurbishing them with social institutions and exporting them to its partners in Africa.
there are 479 permanent and free collection points for bicycles across the country. Every year, an additional 50 collection events are organized.
thanks to functional recycling of our bikes, 350 tonnes of old metal is saved from the shredder each year.
360 unemployed and physically challenged people refurbish the donated bicycles and prepare them for transport to Africa.
in 2015, Velafrica sent 38 shipping containers with 17‘455 donated and reworked bicycles from Switzerland to Africa.
since 1993 over 140‘000 donated Swiss bikes have found a new owner. On average, four people benefit from the use of a bicycle.
Vocational Training & Jobs
by 2015, 106 youth completed an apprenticeship in bicycle mechanics. Bicycle workshops create jobs in repair and sales.
more info in this PDF here >> PDF
Velafrica has the support of 30 partners across Switzerland. Between Liestal and Brig, Bulle and Chur, a dense network of social enterprises work towards integrational work. in 2015, Velafrica started an export workshop in Liebefeld, Berne as an integrational project for refugees and migrants.
They work with 13 regional partners in Gambia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Madagascar, and Eritrea. This partnership is done with non-profit and selected small businesses. We foster a relationship based on economic collaboration to promote social entrepreneurship.
“bycicle reduces poverty”
The bicycle is an affordable alternative that spares people from walking. In cellars across Switzerland there are many bicycles that remain unused. In the developing regions of Africa however, cheap forms of transport are scarce. The recycled bicycles from Switzerland improve local access to education, health care and economic opportunities. After research done by Velafrica in Burkina Faso and Tanzania, mobility was found to be the most important factor in overcoming poverty.
I am so happy that I walked into Angela during the ECO festival in Basel and it makes me even happier to share this awesome project with all of you.
T +41 (0)31 979 70 50
I was invited by C&A to see the AW16/17 collection in Amsterdam and now I wanna share all my visited places with you, hence the title: MY AMSTERDAM TIPS. the photo below was taken by lovely Giséle from TEXTILREVUE, thank you for taking this photo, it was very nice to meet you! and now lets start with the delicious food and drinks I had.
CAFE & RESTAURANTS
mmhhmm, such a tasty vegetarian sandwich that I had at the Beurs Van Berlage café. a very nice place to either sit in the sun on the terrace in front or to warm up inside. I went there twice and had the chance to do both due to amsterdams april weather. the café is very close to the central station and here is some info that I found about its history:
“At the end of the 19th century, Amsterdam was doing well. Trade was flourishing and a growing number of people decided to move to the city. In 1896, the Amsterdam administration therefore decided to allow the construction of the new stock exchange to go ahead after all. The honour of developing this new building went to architect and urban designer Hendrik Petrus Berlage. Berlage designed a completely new building, its bell tower carrying the ‘Beursbengel’ (exchange bell) being the most prominent element. Berlage, being a staunch socialist, believed the stock exchange trade had a short lease of life. Yet he found a smart and creative solution for this dilemma: inspired by the Italian Palazzo Pubblicos, he decided to design the new stock exchange building in such a way that it could serve as a grand communal home, a public palace, after socialism had triumphed. He therefore built a sort of symbolic city hall, a ‘public palace’ that could temporarily serve as a stock exchange. Beurs van Berlage has a rich history of being the third stock exchange building of Amsterdam and being the host of the marriage of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima”
a very cosy and nice place to have lunch or dinner. and let me tell you, the food is nothing what you have ever had before. special combinations and gorgeous decorations. the restaurant is located behind the central station and is open monday to saturday. my favorite part of the lunch was the dessert. mmmhhmm, the mix of frozen, soft, tart and sweet made my day!
this place is a bit further outside of the centre but is absolutely worth to take a cab or bus and visit this place. a huge hall with a ceiling height of at least ten metres. here is some info about its history:
”1897: a new century was beckoning, an industrial revolution was rageing, factories were shooting up everywhere. in amsterdam the first brick was layed for the pumping station. ever since 1851, the dune-water company had provided the people of amsterdam with fresh drinking water from the dunes at vogelenzang. through 23 kilometers of cast iron piping, it was pumped into the city where it could be bought outside the willemspoort at one cent per bucket. forseeing an imminent increase in water- consumption (in which case the capacity of Vogelenzang would prove insufficient), manager J. van Hasselt had plans drawn up for a new pumping station in amsterdam. In 1897, construction was started, and as early as 1900, the pumping station haarlemmerweg went into operation. behind the main building there were four underground reservoirs, each holding about 10,000 cubic metres of dune water. this water could be forced into the city through huge pipes in the cellar and the old watertower by four pumps in the engine room (now the restaurant). the spectacular engine room was renowned and people from everywhere came to see it. In 1941, a technical magazine spoke of “a well filled, symmetrical engine room that made a grand impression on the visitor and could be considered to be a jewel for the city of amsterdam.” the pumping station was kept operational until 1996. in the eighties, when it became trendy to convert vacated and restored ninteenth century industrial buildings into museums, theaters, restaurants, studios, offices and appartments, westerpark city council decided that a restored pumping station was to become the heart of a new car-free eco-area built in the former watercompany grounds. and so, on december 20th, 1996, café-restaurant amsterdam, situated in the old engine room, opened its doors to the public.”
this is the signature drink of the W Hotel lounge and as I dont drink alcohol I ordered the virgin version. it was as delicious as it looks! a rather posh lounge with very comfortable seating areas, an open fire place and a gorgeous view over amsterdam, thats what the W Hotel lounge has to offer and I am very glad that Mano took us there.
COFFEE & DESIGN
Adam and Paul are behind this very nice coffee place where you can also find Urban Outfitters goods. I found some interesting facts about them which proves that they really know what they are doing: great coffee!
“ADAM CRAIG is australian born and raised. while he remains a true-blue aussie at heart, the lure of new york’s cutting-edge specialty coffee scene soon grew too much for him, and before long he found himself heading over to see what all the fuss was about. it didn’t take long for rumors to become a reality when he saw the throbbing pulse of specialty coffee driving innovation and experimentation far beyond his wildest imagination in some of new york’s hippest coffee bars. not one to sit on the sidelines and watch, Adam soon set off on an entrepreneurial spree when he opened a string of his own inimitable coffee bars- ‘Variety Coffee’ in brooklyn in 2007, followed a year later by ‘Coffee Bar’ in brooklyn and eventually ‘Culture Espresso’ in the heart of manhatten with Paul Jenner in 2008. it wasn’t long before local hero The New York Times listed all three coffee bars in their ‘top ten all-time great coffee spots’ in manhattan and brooklyn. ultimately however, even the big apple proved too small to contain the dreams of this coffee serial entrepreneur, and in 2010 he sold up and set off over the horizon, this time with his sights on europe. in 2013 Adam and Paul opened Lot Sixty One which endeavours to be the netherland’s finest coffee bar and roastery.”
“PAUL JENNER is about as australian as they come. born and raised with a surfboard under his arm, he grew up carving his name into some of mother nature’s finest waves that rolled daily into his home town of sydney. but getting up to meet those early swells ain’t easy, and before long Paul was pulling espresso shots and earning his stripes in the horeca industry where he’s since been rocking it with the best of them for almost two decades. after founding and operating his own espresso bar back home, legend has it that a massive rip tide one day dragged Paul too far out from shore and brought him to america’s famed west coast surf belt, where he set up his next espresso bar in LA. always on the prowl for his next adventure, Paul soon headed on over to new york after hearing rumors that it offered respectable surf. well, while the verdict’s still out on that one, new york is where Paul opened Culture Espresso with Adam Craig in 2008. together at last, this dynamic duo perfected the art of running top coffee bars before relocating in 2012 to share the love with amsterdam, where Lot Sixty One receives the full double shot of aussie flair which has become the secret ingredient to making this place tick the way it does.
today, Paul continues his search for the perfect wave – so if you see him wandering barefoot around oud west at 6am sporting a 10-foot longboard under his arm, you’ll know why.”
we had a great start into the day with hot tea at KOKO & Design. unfortunately I forgot to take a photo and thats why I had to hop to google maps and screenshot the location so you can at least see the house. KOKO offers a lovely mix of fashion and design accessories but let me tell you what I found via their website:
“the fashion at KOKO is selected by the two owners karlijn and caroline. with a strong vision and opinion about materials and quality they choose their designers. at KOKO you can create your own personal wardrobe. a combination of everyday basics combined with unique pieces.
the coffee at KOKO is roasted with love and care by the roasters of the antwerp caffènation. this microroastery and coffeebar is a statement in belgium and abroad. the roasters are always looking for the best quality specialty coffee of biological harvest. the love and passion for specialty coffee is at real place at KOKO coffee & design.”
PRJCT AMS is a multi-brand store for men, based in the heart of amsterdam’s city centre.
they carry an on-going mix of casual chic & quality garments in the mid- and high-end segment with a strong focus on the perfect basic. they offer an in-store made-to-measure sartorial suit service! quality is key and they salute innovative brands and upcoming designers alongside their private label and household names. brands: PRJCT AMS LABEL,
SSD | SUSUDIO
, VIVE L’HOMME,
when I was walking by this shop it was unfortunately closed but I got to sneak a peek thru the window and saw lots of really nice men shoes. and then I googled O’Quirey and found out about Jan Palmen:
“as a passionate sportsman and certified instructor, Jan Palmen entered the retail business as a store manager in at a sports apparel store in groningen, the netherlands. during this time his love of shoes became his passion.
his passion led Jan to establish his own athletic shoe and apparel store named COACH. under his leadership, COACH expanded its business to 69 retail outlets located throughout the netherlands and germany. in 2000, Jan Palmen sold COACH and devoted his energy to the development of a premium retail concept focused on shoes and apparel.
FOSBURY opened its flagship store in 2001 at assen and was elected “most beautiful store of the netherlands” that same year. FOSBURY meets the needs of its customers for distinctive quality and style through its premium products for men and women. from its own design studio Jan Palmen develops exclusive shoe and apparel designs for his customers.
it is at this studio that the O’Quirey line of shoes, boots and apparel was born. O’Quirey shoes, boots and apparel are being sold throughout europe and china.”
so that was it from my tips for amsterdam, I had an amazing time and want to thank all of you who made my stay so nice and welcoming. I hope you found these tips helpful and let me know which are your favorite places in amsterdam. X