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For a bunch of learners of the N’wanati High School in Limpopo’s Makuleke Community it will now be a case of pedal power on their way to class. This after 250 bicycles were donated by the Qhubeka’s Scholar Mobility Programme.
“We are very excited about this wonderful partnership which will enable these students to get to school quicker and, in some cases where they are using public transport, more affordably. Enabling and empowering students to get to school and empowering a community member are all important to our long-term goals of educating and uplifting our partner communities”, said Dr Sue Snyman, CITW Regional Programme Director.
The 250 bicycles will be donated to learners from CITW’s Eco-Club at N’wanati High School; those who have achieved good academic results and demonstrated their ongoing commitment to giving back to their community and to the environment. CITW will facilitate the community liaison required to set up a Bicycle Supervisory Committee (BSC) to ensure the sustainability of the programme, and to identify the beneficiaries and field mechanics who will be trained to maintain the bicycles for future personal financial gain.
Qhubeka will be responsible for the procurement, assembly, delivery and distribution of the bicycles and the spare part set-up kits, as well as the training of the field mechanic trainees as selected by the BSC. According to Sarah Phaweni, Qhubeka’s Executive Director, “Our bicycles will not only give these learners a means of getting to school but will also help to save time on their commute which they can in turn use to study, help with chores or even play with friends. We are always excited to partner with other organisations wanting to create a better life for the children of South Africa and are therefore really looking forward to working closely with CITW to ensure the delivery of the bicycles to the school in February 2017”.
Qhubeka is an Nguni word that means ‘to move forward’ or ‘to progress’, with transport being a fundamental element of development. Most of Africa’s rural population has no access to transport and people have to walk long distances to access opportunity, education, healthcare, shops and community services. Rural schoolchildren are particularly badly affected by lack of mobility. Having a bicycle helps to change lives by increasing the distance people can travel, what they can carry, where they can go and how fast they can get there.
“We have worked closely with the Mukluk Community for numerous years and are always impressed by the positive outputs received from N’wanati High School’s Eco-Clubs. We are really looking forward to the positive and long-term impact this programme will have on this community and hope that it inspires future job creation and opportunities”, concluded Snyman.
Issued by Children in the Wilderness / Pictures by Donovon Thorne and David Dettman