Qhubeka: helping children to progress using bicycles
Qhubeka is a non-profit organisation based in South Africa, and World Bicycle Relief’s programme in the country. Qhubeka is also a word in the Nguni languages that means “to carry on”, “to progress”, “to move forward”.
Basically, that’s what Qhubeka try to do – they help people move to forward and progress by giving them bicycles in return for work done to improve their communities, the environment or their academic results.
Having a bicycle changes lives by increasing the distance people can travel, what they can carry, where they can go and how fast they can get there.
Much of South Africa’s population has limited access to reliable transport. People have to walk long distances to access opportunity, education, healthcare, shops and community services. Half a million school children in South Africa walk for more than an hour to school, and an hour back, which means every day they may walk than 12km.
Bicycles are the most effective and economical method of quickly providing access to education for these children. The foundation cannot, however, provide bicycles for all the children that need them on our own, which is why they are grateful to people and organisations that help them to raise awareness and funds.
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung, Africa’s first ever UCI registered Professional Continental cycling team, races to build exposure for Qhubeka’s initiatives and rides to inspire potential new athletes within the community of Qhubeka bicycle recipients.
Partners like Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung help Qhubeka to make a difference and to mobilise more people with bicycles. The team also helps riders from across the African continent to “move forward” and “progress” by supporting them in achieving their dreams of becoming professional sportsmen.
Through the team, Qhubeka has also benefited from introductions to companies like Scicon, who have been inspired by Qhubeka’s work and decided to support us. For example, when you buy a Qhubeka Scicon #Ride4Change saddle bag, like those used by the riders of Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung, Scicon donates a percentage of the price to Qhubeka. For every 50 bags sold, one bicycle is funded for someone in a Qhubeka programme.
So far, the Scicon/Qhubeka saddle bag initiative has been a big success! Scicon have now donated 9 bikes through the sales of their saddle bags. We’re hoping that this number will increase over the festive season as the saddle bag makes for a good stocking filler!
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