“Education is the most powerful way to change the world” Nelson Mandela
Jole Rider/Bikes4Africa is a charity based in Tetbury, Gloucestershire. is a simple programme delivering reconditioned bicycles from the UK to schools in Africa. It is in Africa that these bicycles are born again, enabling children to reach their education that would otherwise be difficult at best and impossible at worse.
On Wednesday 27th November the charity loaded up their 36th consignment of donated bicycles which are now en route to Africa. The total of bikes now shipped from Tetbury to Africa has reached a staggering 13,000 of which 500 have been donated from Ireland.
On arrival in The Gambia, West Africa, the consignment is received and prepared for distribution to schools, by their sister charity. Having previously identified the schools to receive bikes, they are delivered with the help of the Gambian Ministry of Education. There they become the property of the school, with teachers allocating the bikes to the students with the most need. When a child graduates their bike is reallocated to another needy child. To complete the circle, students and teachers are provided skills and workshop tools to enable them to maintain the bikes.
Whilst many children and adults across the country will wake up on Christmas morning to a new bicycle, please spare a thought to those less fortunate in Africa.
Rather than sending your old bikes to landfill, why not donate them to Bikes4Africa, by doing so you could help provide the greatest gift of all – a chance to have an education. It’s not only bikes that can be donated either; spare bike parts are also welcome.
For more information about both Jole Rider and Bikes4Africa, please visit: www.jolerider.org or follow @joleCYCLING on Twitter.