Donate unwanted bikes and help Africa!

Donate unwanted bikes and help Africa!

YOU could give your unwanted bicylce a new lease of life, by donating it to a project in Africa.

Coleraine Borough Council has teamed up with local architect, Murray Bell, to help collect unwanted bicycles in good condition for Bulembu in Africa.

It is important, in the current economic climate, for us to be careful with our resources, for financial and environmental reasons, and Murray is concerned about the wasteful dumping of perfectly good bicycles, when they have plenty of road miles left on them.

Bulembu is five hours drive from Johannesburg. It is a town of 2,000 people in Swaziland.

In 2001, the mining company that had built and operated Bulembu for more than 60 years, closed its doors and walked away. The town was left with no employment and the highest HIV/AIDS infection rate in the world.

This deadly infection has orphaned approximately 120, 000 children, destroyed traditional family structure and support, and, if not addressed, could wipe out the Swazi people by 2050. Two thirds of Swazis live on less than $1 a day.

Murray Bell, Bulembu activist, explained, "Five years ago, a team of entrepreneurs and social developers created a vision to restore Bulembu to a vibrant, self-sustaining community by 2020.

"A variety of Community Care programmes are transforming the town by restoring basic social services to the community including a clinic, schools, churches, training centres and other community organizations."

Murray very much believes in the Chinese proverb, that if you ‘Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.' And as such he hopes that the bicycles will sustain a small local business in the town, repairing and maintaining the bikes, and perhaps with the ability to trade them in the surrounding villages.

"This is why we are appealing to people in the Triangle Area to donate their unwanted bicycles to this worthy cause. The bikes don't need to be perfect, but they should not be broken. The African team in Bulembu will be able to make some repairs and improvements, but when these bikes arrive there will be 300 orphans hanging around the container doors, so they will need to be ready quickly!"

Fiona Watters, Recycling Officer, Coleraine Borough Council said, "Coleraine Borough Council is delighted to be supporting this great project.

"Council is keen to support projects that reduce waste and help us all to reuse unwanted items. I would encourage everyone who has an unused bicycle lying in the garage to donate it to Bikes 4 Africa."

Bicycles can be donated to Bikes 4 Africa at Coleraine Borough Council's Coleraine Recycling Site, Gateside Road, Coleraine. Winter opening hours are: 8.30am to 3.45pm, Monday to Saturday (closed Sunday).

For more information on Bikes for Africa, please go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bikes-for-Africa-NI/184972244853021