Vanessa Fixmer-Oraiz, a PPC Graduate Research Assistant from the School of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Iowa, recently rode her bamboo bike (“bambike”) across Iowa in this year’s RAGBRAI to raise money for climate justice in the Philippines. Now she is joining the Great Climate March for Action that sets out to “change the heart and mind of the American people, our elected leaders and people across the world to act now to address the climate crisis” as it makes its way across Iowa.
Fixmer-Oraiz studies climate change impacts on farming communities. For this work, she earned a prestigious Fulbright scholarship to the Philippines, the birthplace of her mother. While there, she worked with local NGO InHand Abra, an organization empowering bamboo farmers to compete in national markets. Bamboo is not only a sustainable crop, but is especially fast-growing and provides a critical safety net for farmers facing increasingly common natural disasters.
Fixmer-Oraiz purchased the bamboo frame for her bike in the Philippines and built it locally with help from the Iowa City Bike Library. She is calling her ride B.O.N.G.G.A. (Bamboo on New Green Ground Ang) Ride for Climate Justice. This is an acronym, but it is also a play on the Filipino word for “fabulous.” All money raised by Fixmer-Oraiz’s ride will go directly to InHand Abra for the purchase a bamboo processing tank ($40,000 USD). This tank will increase efficiency and yield greater profits for the farmers.
In order to continue raising awareness for this campaign and to add her wheels to the cause, Fixmer-Oraiz will be riding alongside the Great Climate March for Action that has made its way to Iowa soil. She plans on attending the rally in Iowa City and bicycling with the march as they continue on to Davenport. She is thrilled to join this momentous call to action.
You can follow Vanessa’s ride and contribute by visiting her blog: kawayancrew.wordpress.com.