Most of Africa’s rural population have 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 this lack of mobility. In South Africa, of the 16 million school going children, 12 million walk to school. Of these, 500,000 walk more than two hours each way, spending four hours getting to and back from school each day. Bicycles are the most effective and economical method of quickly addressing this problem.
Qhubeka projects aim to help rural communities move forward and progress by giving bicycles to children in return for work done to improve their environment and their community.
The initiative has not only distributed some 40 000 bikes since it was launched in 2004, but it has also reduced the cost of children’s school commuting by 75% in the communities it services; reduced the sports infrastructure cost per child by 90%; increased micro-finance loan recipient earnings by 500%, and increased healthcare worker visits to orphans and vulnerable children by 400%.
If you are in South-Africa, you can help by sms’ing your name to 44445 and donate R5.
Or convert to an MTN Qhubeka cellphone contract. More info can be found at: http://www.mtnsp.co.za/BCP/Pages/Qubheka.aspx
Or donate to Qhubeka here: http://www.qhubeka.org/qhubeka/DONATE.html