"There are places around the world that can be reached by bicycle or by foot only.In Africa it might be very difficult for some children to get to school.Without bicycles they are not able to get there at all."Thanks to your help, they can …
Beneficial organisation Bikes for Africa was founded at the beginning of the year 2012 in the Czech Republic. The organisation was inspired by the movement Bicycles for Humanity and by Jole Rider and our mission is to bring the kids in Gambia nearer to schools in a sustainable way.
To start a similar activity in the Czech Republic, we traveled to Gambia at the end of 2011. The idea of the trip was to understand the value of such help for an African country and also to witness where the donated bikes go. The result was that this journey assured us that the way of direct help in the form of bikes has a big meaning. Meeting a kid who got the bike for going to school is a really amazing moment. We also believe that the whole project has its positive meaning not only for children in Africa, but also it brings lots of goodness to Czech society where such an activity doesn’t have a long tradition.
The organisation Bikes for Africa is based on donation and volunteering and we are very happy that the Czech people are interested in our project and are eager to help. In the last 10 months we have collected about 7 000 donated bicycles and we have founded about 70 drop-off all over the Czech Republic. We have also started working with the beneficial organisation called Nová šance (New Chance), an organisation helping former prisoners and homeless people. We are glad that this organisation has provided us with premises for a central warehouse, where the bikes are stored and repaired. It’s also a great chance for the unemployed and clients from Nová šance to work on bikes, gain some new experience and gradually get involved in the society.
We also work with Czech schools, parishes, companies, municipalities, media and handicapped people. The organisation Bikes for Africa was supported by a handicapped sportsman Radomír Krupa whose dream had always been to go round the Czech Republic on his handbike. He set off on his trip on July 22 with the aim to ride 2233 km along the Czech borders and to promote Bikes for Africa at various cultural and sport events.
Until November 2011 we were completely volunteer run so 100% of all the funds were used to get the bikes to Gambia. We are looking for ways how to raise money for the transport and reparation of bicycles. We hope to have 500 bikes prepared for shipping at the beggining of this year 2013.
Czech Bikes for Gambian Schools gives a helping hand - Gambian newspaper The Point
The first 350 bikes were sent to children to Gambia in spring 2013. The next 1200 bikes are going to be ship away at the beginning of December 2013. The Gambian children will receive these bikes in January 2014. In January there will be organized cycle maintenance workshops with local mechanics who will be trained and also responsible for sustainability and stability of a project. Every school with donated bikes must have at least one capable person – cycle mechanic who will take care of the bikes´ functionality and will also educate local children to repair their bikes.
Having said our work is not based only on collecting the old bikes and their reusing in Gambia but also helping people in our country.
The bikes´ journey is fairly long. It begins with great people - volunteers who decided to establish a collecting point for bikes and to devote to it much of their free time and energy just for help someone else who they never saw, who they don´t know.
The other part of a journey is participated by a donor who spends energy to approach some collecting point with a bike.
Then our transporters take place. They collect bikes from the whole Czech Republic and drive them to the central warehouse in Ostrava Koblov. The road transport company TOPTRANS brought about 1000 donated bikes just in summer 2013.
The community Nova Sance kindly provided a space for the central warehouse. There live people who came from a hard life situation e.g. from prison, homeless or with other social difficulties and are especially disadvantaged for a normal employment. They repair and separate bikes. Nowadays the prison Hermanice joined to a cooperation where the prisoners also repair the bikes.
And thanks to whom the bikes get to Gambia?
The transport of the containers with bikes is very financially demanding. Our fundraising is based on various activities of and individuals, schools, companies or NGOs. They organize wide range of beneficial activities, whose profit or part of it is given as a financial support of a project.
There are lots of amazing people over the whole Czech Republic. You can learn more about their actions regularly on our facebook or website, unfortunately it is in Czech language at the moment.
Thank you very much to all of you indeed. We greatly appreciate all your support.