If you have an old bicycle gathering dust in your garage, there’s a far better use for it.

A new photography exhibit at Montreal’s Photo Café shows how donated bicycles can change the lives of people around the world.

“It makes a huge difference,” photographer Mikael Theimer told CTV Montreal. “Both in the time they're saving but also in… the financial savings they're going to make and they're going to be able to spend that money on more important stuff than just transportation.”

The people pictured in Theimer’s photos received their bicycles from Cyclo Nord-Sud, a Montreal-based organization that sends used, donated bicycles to underprivileged communities across the Global South.

Since its inception in 1999, Cyclo Nord-Sud has shipped more than 56,000 tuned-up bicycles to 20 countries in Africa and South America. These bikes, Cyclo Nord-Sud’s website says, “serve as tools for promoting local development.”

Theimer’s exhibition, Cyclo Nord-Sud general manager Charlotte Cordier explains, shows how much of an impact something as simple as a bicycle can make.

“You'll have a young boy in Cuba, you'll have an older man, a bike mechanic in Ghana, you’ll have volunteers in Quebec City,” she said. “And the diversity of it, yet the common link of the bike, and just being able to see that thread.”

Cycle Nord-Sud’s next shipment will see 400 bicycles get delivered to the tiny West African nation of Togo in May. Theimer’s exhibition runs until May 18.

With a report from CTV Montreal’s Kelly Greig