800 bicycles bound for port of Walvis Bay

Eileen van der Schyff

A 40-foot shipping container stacked with 800 bicycles is bound for Walvis Bay. The bicycles will be donated to Namibians who don’t have the luxury of transport, often having to walk long distances to schools, to fetch water or going to work on foot.

The bicycles are the result of hard work and fundraising by students of Porter Gaud middle-school in Charleston South Carolina, in the United States of America, where a Bikes For Humanity Project is run under the leader-ship of the school’s dean, Chris Tate. One of the super stars of the Project is eighth grader Sarah Quinn who on her own managed to collect 700 bicycles.
Fundraising is crucial because it costs roughly 10,000 US Dollars to purchase a container and cover the shipping costs. In addition ship-ping cost just in 2018 went up by 60 %
Whilst many people take bicycles for granted, Tate explained in a media release a bicycle is life-changing for millions of people.
The container laden with bicycles of all shapes and sizes made its way to the Charles-ton Port yesterday and are expected to arrive in the Port of Walvis Bay by the end of January. The shipping container will be staying in Namibia and transformed into a community bike shop.
Bicycles for Humanity Charleston is a global grassroots movement. They collect used bicycles and ship them to African communities in need. By donating a bike, communities are gifting mobility, access to schooling, healthcare, water and food.
“It is a game changer for healthcare, a game changer for education,” ex-plained Tate.
They donate to a different community in need every year. Last year they shipped 500 bicycles to South Africa and the same number of bicycles to Uganda in 2016. Tate went on to say, “The last shipment we sent went to kids that had to walk 12 kilometres or more to school,”.
Sarah Quinn had the following to say: “I just came into this as a little sixth, seventh grader and it’s really grown. I knew my community was generous,” Quinn said. “When I started, I had a goal of 20 bikes and it kept going and going. That is incredible, it’s the greatest Christmas present ever. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”
She said the hard work is worth the reward, especially when they see how it’s received.
“This is amazing, but the best part is when we get emails with pictures of the people and you see the kids when they’re jumping up and down with their helmets and their bikes and they’re learning to ride,” she said.
Another star of the project is Juliette Lovell who has been part of the program since fifth grade. She’s now a college-bound senior dedicated to service. “It just reminds you that service, it doesn’t take a lot of time, it can be quick, and it can be really meaningful and change lives,” Lovell said.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login