In September this year BikeTown Africa will be assembling 225 Kona AfricaBikes in Gambia, to be distributed to children in the rural parts of this West African country. We are looking for volunteers to assist in the building and handing over of these bikes.
Most villages have a primary school, but secondary schools are spaced farther apart, with no public transportation and rarely a motorized vehicle. Middle and high school children walk to and from school every day, often as far as 7 miles each way. A bike can reduce a two-hour walk to a 30-minute ride.
Girls may especially benefit from the AfricaBikes, as they are frequently kept home from school to do chores such as sweeping, gathering wood, carrying water and pounding rice. If they spend less time getting to and from school, and as a result have more time for their chores, their parents may allow them to be educated. Half of the bikes are allocated to go to girls, so perhaps they will not have to choose between their family obligations and getting an education.
Villages in Gambia may lack access to water, food, health care, education, and enterprise. Removing the barriers to education may be the piece of the puzzle that can connect the dots and help alleviate these problems. Transportation to school for children that live too far to walk will ensure that every child gets the chance to learn.
Can you spare a week? Would you like to visit an amazing country and help build and donate these bikes?
Don’t worry about not being a bike mechanic – the Kona AfricaBike is very simple to put together, and full training will be given on site.
You will have to cover your flights and daily expenses, typically around $60 USD per day (this includes local transport, accommodation and food in the villages). Volunteers from the HopeFirst Foundation will help you coordinate your flights and arrange everything for you on the ground in Gambia.
Travel Dates: Come for one week or two. Arrive on a Sunday and depart one or two weeks later on a Sunday. September 12 to 26 will be spent between two areas of Gambia, assembling bikes, as well as introducing other HopeFirst Foundation projects.
So what are you waiting for? Have a trip of a lifetime and feel good helping a great cause!
Contact BikeTown Africa at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.