Bikes for the World

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Bikes For Community Health Workers in Africa

Yesterday we told you about how bikes donated in the DC area are helping a youth project in the Mathare Valley, Africa. Today we will introduce you to Kijiji Cha Upendo in Kibera where our donated bikes are helping bring affordable health care to AIDS patients in Kenya.

Through a unique partnership with Wheels of Africa (WOA) and the Tour d'Afrique Foundation (TDA) several organizations in Kenya are receiving bikes indirectly from Bikes for the World. This series will bring you stories from several of them as well as actual bike beneficiaries.

Courtesy Kijiji Cha Upendo
Kijiji Cha Upendo (KCU) is a community based organization in Kibera, one of the largest slums in Kenya and Africa. Kijiji Cha Upendo complements the efforts of families already providing physical and emotional support, to orphans and other vulnerable children, infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.

The organization provides workshops, loans, food, education, support and empowerment to families affected by HIV/AIDS. They also help educate the community about HIV/AIDS spreading a greater acceptance of those suffering from the disease.

Mary Syombua
Some beneficiaries who received bikes through Wheels of Africa are using them to help transport goods to be sold. This saves time and money and helps benefit the family as a whole.

"I used to transport green groceries from the market place to my small kiosk, deep in the slum. I would hire a cart from the stage to my kiosk for Kshs 50. These days, I use my bike from the stage to my kiosk. "
                                      Mary Syombua

Agrippina Andati
 Others, use the bike to help care for an ailing household member. The one thing KCU beneficiaries all have in common is the transformational change that has been brought about by the bike. Some of these beneficiaries are infected with HIV/AIDS; all are all guardians to either orphans or vulnerable children.

Agrippina Andati uses her bike to pick up medicine for a sick relative. The money saved by using the bicycle allows her to better care for her relative. Agrippina does not know how to ride a bike, but her children use it to run these errands for her.

                  Ol Kalau Hospital Health Workers
Another health related project supported by WOA (and BfW) is in Ol Kalau, the central region of Kenya. Alongside the Peace Corp, Wheels of Africa dedicated ten bicycles to Ol Kalau District Hospital.
Bikes are used by these community health workers (left) to ensure that residents of Ol Kalau receive medication and treatment in collaboration with the district hospital and Peace Corps.

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