ROTARIANS in Ellon spent another fruitful weekend collecting old bicycles, as part of the club’s ongoing ‘Jolerider’ scheme to have them sent to Africa.
Jolerider is a scheme supported by Rotarians from all across the UK, in order to give more children in Africa a way of getting to schools which are too far away for them to reach on foot. The bikes collected in Ellon will be sent on to a central UK collection point in Bath, before being refurbished by prisoners as part of their rehabilitation and then sent on to The Gambia, where they are distributed through local schools.
The refurbished cycles offer a simple, low-cost, low-tech solution to the transport problems faced by many children in Africa, who face barriers to education because of having to travel long distances each day without reliable transport. Many children cannot reach school, and those that can arrive late and exhausted after several hours walk. The negative impact on these children is evident, and the impact on their lives permanent. African governments do not have money to build more schools, or provide fleets of school buses.
A number of Rotary Clubs across the area, including Oldmeldrum, Kintore, Dyce, Huntly, and Fraserbugh are taking part in the project, as well as local ‘Rotakids’, which helps to make the best use of space in the lorries. Although the bikes are being transported to Bath free of charge by Dyce Carriers, the costs of shipping the bikes to Africa is being met with the help of £10 donations from those gifting the cycles.