As part of the company’s corporate responsibility program, the Danish shoe brand is donating bicycles to children in Vietnam. While this is just one of Ecco's aid projects - others include donating school supplies to schools in Thailand or funding mobile libraries in Indonesia - it is a great example of how lives can be changed where help is desperately needed.

The Ecco factory in Vietnam is located in a relatively new part of a city where many schools are far from people’s homes and there is no bus service. If both parents work or perhaps even work in different shifts, they are unable to bring their children to school every day In order to support the children’s education, Ecco Vietnam donated 66 bicycles last year to alllow children to go to school safely.

Ecco is not the only company or organization that has understood that mobility can change life in remote, poor regions. World Bicycle Relief was founded in 2005 by F.K. Day , a co-founder of Sram Corporation, and Leah Missbach Day, in response to a tsunami in the Indian Ocean. In partnership with relief organizations in Sri Lanka, they distributed more than 24,000 bicycles to displaced survivors, providing access to education, health care and livelihoods while reconnecting entire communities. Almost 15 years later, more than 150 employees in 13 countries are changing their lives with bicycles.

Or take Wheels 4 Life, a California-based nonprofit charity founded in 2005 by a cycling professional, Hans Rey, that also provides bicycles to people in developing countries. To date, over 14,000 bicycles have been distributed to students, health care workers and farmers in 32 different countries. Rey and his wife Carmen run the charity voluntarily along with supporters from around the world, including outdoor brands like the German backpack specialist Deuter.

Photo: © Ecco