150 bikes donated

EDUCATION DRIVE: Overjoyed and overwhelmed pupils at Nyameko High School receive their
shiny new bicycles last week, which were donated by Mercedes Benz and the global Qhubeka Charity Picture: SUPPLIED

Project’s mission is to help keep pupils in school

Pupils at Nyameko High School in Mdantsane NU 8 were filled with excitement last week when they received a donation of 150 bicycles that were presented by Qhubeka Charity and Mercedes Benz South Africa (MBSA). This was the first scholar mobility programme for
Qhubeka Charity, a global charity that provides bicycles for people in need throughout Africa.

Bicycles and Beyond (BAB) also conducted a two-day safety workshop for the pupils, to
teach them how to ride. Qhubeka Charity regional manager Ian Mills said the main mission behind the project was to encourage pupils to stay committed to their education.

“Transportation in townships and rural areas is one on the reasons why the education system in the Eastern Cape is not improving. Mercedes Benz funded the bicycles and we
distributed them, as we are the mediators between the benefactor and beneficiary,” Mills said.

“A bicycle is a tool that helps people to travel faster and further, to generate income and to carry more.

“In the face of extreme and persistent poverty, bicycles can change lives by helping to address socio-economic challenges at the most basic level and by helping people to get where they need to go.” He said they were in partnership with non-profit organisation Funda Afrika, which managed and implemented a number of school development and
transformation programmes.

“Funda Afrika helps develop primary and secondary schools in semi-rural and peri-urban
areas around East London and Gauteng into fully-functional and effective institutions
delivering ongoing improvement of pupil performance for the eventual increase of employment levels in the target communities.

“We are implementing this project not only to the pupils, but the parents and teachers too.

“It will be their responsibility to make sure the pupils get the education they deserve,” Mills
said.

BAB director Janine Van Beulen Johnson said they conducted the workshop two days before the pupils received the bicycles. “We run a training centre of excellence based in the Western Cape where women and our youth come and learn about cycling safety, in a safe and friendly environment .

“We have a professional bicycle technician on site to assist with repairs of bicycles at a nominal fee,” Van Beulen Johnson said.

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