Bikes for the World

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Fourth 'R': Riding

How exciting. Today we are talking about two new areas where Bikes for the World bikes are ending up in Africa. Cameroon and Mozambique. And to be even more specific we can say some of those bikes came from Severna Park and Arnold Maryland.

Two new education projects are receiving bikes through Bikes for the World. Many of the bikes included in the two shipments came from Pedal Pushers and Bike Doctor Arnold, both long time Bikes for the World shop supporters.

Courtesy ChildFund Mozambique
From Director Keith Oberg:

Keeping kids in school is one of the most productive investments that a society can make. Recognizing this premise, Bikes for the World provides students at risk of dropping out the means - in the form of a bicycle - to arrive at school on time, refreshed, and with time savings, thus enabling them to study more, do chores at home, and stay in school.

Providing bikes for education has happened to one degree or another in all of our supported projects going back to our start in 2005. Beginning 2011, however, we supported a 100% education project, Bikes for the Philippines.

Courtesy Wheels of Africa
Now, following on this project's initial success, we are looking for new opportunities to support education, and are particularly interested in Africa, where millions of children drop out of school, especially at the critical transition from village-based primary school to regional secondary schools. The loss of human potential is immense.

Two countries where we are exploring the role of bicycles in education are Cameroon and Mozambique. In Mozambique we will be working with ChildFund International to help distribute bikes to school children and teachers in central Mozambique. The first container is scheduled to be loaded at our Arlington warehouse September 14-15.

Courtesy BIG
Recently a small shipment of bikes, about 30, were sent to Cameroon, piggybacking on a shipment of books by a local Rotary club. The shipment of books and bikes was sponsored by the Cameroon Education Foundation in Kumbo, an English-speaking area in northwestern Cameroon close to the Nigerian border.

Almost all the bikes shipped this past spring have already been reconditioned and given to students in Kumbo. One such student is Alhaji Suleman, a student of GBHS who lives in Rogasah Kumbo.

Friend of Alhaji Suleman
"I will like to thank Bikes for the World for sending bikes to Cameroon for the first time. Like my friends I love bike because it will help me go to school easily.

"[The bike] will help my moment to school which you know is far from my home. Secondly the bike will reduced my transport cost. Thirdly the bike help me to travel in and out of Kumbo."

Alhaji Suleman, bike beneficiary, Kumbo Cameroon.

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