The charity is called re-cycle Bikes for Africa and is based in Colchester. It is staffed by volunteers and provides opportunities for people to develop their skills and confidence in the process of repairing bikes ready for delivery to parts of Africa. The charity is unique in offering 360-degree impact – where the donors, organisers, distributors, recipients and the environment as a whole all benefit in a complementary and sustainable way.
Bicycles provide swift transport, access to education, health and income – especially for young women and children.
Bicycles offer people a route out of poverty and a means to improve their lives, giving them opportunities to travel to work and school. The average African woman walks about 4 miles a day and some children face a 20 mile round-trip to school.
The Anglo European Co-operative Trust decided to support this important initiative as it has enormous educational benefits for both the students from within the Trust and the recipients of the bikes in Africa. IB and A Level students from the Anglo European School have worked with children from the 4 local primary schools: Ingatestone CofE Junior School, Ingatestone Infant School, Margaretting CofE Primary School and Mountnessing CofE Primary School to collect about 50 bikes.
Bradley Snell, International Baccalaureate Curriculum Manager said “ The response from students and staff across the 5 schools has been fantastic. We originally set a target of 20 bikes and have collected around 50. The bikes will improve the educational and employment opportunities for 50 families, whilst at the same time preventing waste in the UK and providing more space in our own homes. We plan to make this an annual event every January.”
Freya Waites IB Diploma Student said “We decided that Re-cycle Bikes to Africa was definitely a charity that we wanted to support, due to the fact that in many developing countries transport is essential to their further development, but modes of transport we would use, such as cars, trains or buses just aren’t available there. In Britain, it is easy for us to overlook bikes as an effective mode of transport, and millions of bikes are left unused or thrown away in Britain every year. In the meantime, people in Africa have no access to the transport they desperately need; they will walk miles to do basic things we take for granted like fetching water.
We are so over-whelmed by the support from our local community on this, and would like to thank everyone who has donated both their time and their bikes to our cause.”