Bikes and books for Africa

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Have you a bicycle you no longer use? Have you children’s’ story or text books you no longer use? If you do, the Rotary Club of Coleraine can put them too really good use.

The Rotary club are looking for old bicycles and books that can be sent to Africa where they will be used by children, to get to school and to get a good education in remote parts of The Gambia.

Club president Milne Rowntree said: “Rotary clubs are partnering the Jole Rider organisation to help children in Africa, principally in The Gambia. To do that we are looking for bicycles and books that people no longer use.

“The children generally have to walk for miles in searing heat to get to school. There is no other form of transport.

“The bikes we provide can make that a safer, more comfortable and speedier journey. The bikes are loaned to children for the duration of their studies and, when they are finished with them, they go to another child.

“We are also looking for books to support the educational needs of children. Many African schools have few or no books and libraries are almost non-existent.

“The books we provide, story books and school books, help schools acquire a useful library for the children to use and to learn from.

“Rotary clubs across Ireland and Great Britain are joining together to make a difference and help collect and transport some of the things we no longer need but which are a godsend to children struggling to gain an education in Africa. Please help us.”

How can you help?

Ask your family, work colleagues, sport or other club, church or youth group, anyone you know, to help gather bikes and books. Go online and support our search through your networks. Simply ask everyone you know.

If you have a bicycle of any type, suitable for a child from 10 years of age upwards, probably best with 24 to 26 inch wheels, that is in any sort of reasonable condition and you no longer use it, we will put it to good use.

If you have story books they need to be in good condition with no missing or damaged pages. Children are the same the world over: What you like, others will like. What you value most, others will too.

Other suitable children’s books include: Text books, Dictionaries, Pictorials, Atlases, Encyclopaedias and other illustrative books, but not Bibles and religious books, Audio books or Magazines.

You can also help by supporting the financial cost of transporting the bikes and books. Rotary need to raise about £10 per bike and 50p per book for transport to Africa and any support in that regard would be greatly welcome. A bike or book with some contribution to costs would be a great way to help.

If you can help and if you wish to donate a bike or book, in the first instance contact either Michael Magee on 07808736893 or Milne Rowntree on 07764320363 and we can help decide if your bike or book is suitable. For more information on the project and details on what can be used, visit http://jolerider.org/