20 Bicycles to Help Over 30,000

Guest blog by Cait Bouwma, photos courtesy of Ben Voss from Africycle.

20 Bicycles to Help Over 30,000

A little goes a long way. In a country that has seen much catastrophe in the past several months, it is well demonstrated here in Malawi that even the smallest amount of effort can make astronomical differences. This philosophy has been made even clearer in light of a certain donation of twenty bicycles, which have in turn affected over 7,000 families.

In the wake of the severe flooding that impacted most of Malawi, ongoing diseases that have plagued the country for years have only been made worse. The need for quick and ready medical attention has multiplied greatly. While the Health Surveillance Assistants (HSA) have been tirelessly working in their villages to prevent the spread of diseases, their effectiveness has been limited due to the distance between villages and lack of transportation for the workers. In some cases, a worker will walk more than 10 km from one village to the next; a journey not only strenuous, but time-consuming. And time is of the essence.

As Emmanuel International works to provide health and sanitation to as many people as they can in this desperate hour, and Africycle desires to mobilize an equal amount, a more suitable partnership would be inconceivable. Ben Voss, Executive Director of Africycle joined forces with Emmanuel International to donate the bicycles provided by Lush Cosmetics of Canada. These bikes were then distributed to twenty HSA who travel from village to village promoting sanitation and preventing disease.

Grace Kalonjere, the proud recipient of a certain green bicycle admitted, “I am very excited! The villages I help are very far away, and this bicycle will get me to them sooner.” Grace is responsible for 440 households at an average of 5 people per house. Large numbers like these are not foreign to the HSA’s as many of them see to villages with an equal or increased amount of people.

These bicycles will not only help the HSA workers, another new bicycle owner named Rodgers explained; because mobilization from village to village will be increased, close to thirty thousand Malawians will have better access to the care they require, all because of a simple donation of twenty bicycles. “All we have to say is thank you.”

Cait Bouwma works at EICanada.

Africycle's Spring Used Bicycle Collection on your website. The collection takes place all over the GTA on April 25 at the following locations:

Bay Cycle and Sports -- 980 Brock Rd. South, Pickering (Accepting donations all week!)
Lincoln Avenue Public School -- 70 Lincoln St., Ajax
St John the Evangelist Church -- 903 Giffard St., Whitby
Home Hardware -- 64 Baldwin St., Brooklin
Bicycles Plus -- 843 King St W., Oshawa
Courtice Flea Market -- 1696 Bloor St., Courtice
St. John's Presbyterian Church -- 319 Queen St., Port Perry
Stouffville Reservoir - Millard St & Bayberry St.

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