Life-Changing Wheels

Inmates at Gloucester prison in the UK are spending some of their free time (and you have a lot of that in prison) repairing donated bikes which are then shipped by Jole Rider to a partner organisation in Gambia, Africa. Once there, the bikes can change kids lives by allowing them to get to school. Bikes remain school property, with teachers allocating them to the students who need them most. When a child graduates from school, their bike is re-allocated to another child, multiplying the long-term impact of each bike.

Once at least 333 bikes have been refurbished, they are packed in a container and sent to Africa…

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David Swettenham, director of Jole Rider, said donating the bikes “has a tremendous effect”.”It can take two to three hours for a student to walk to school from home and the same amount of time to come back in the afternoon.

“So having a bicycle makes all the difference in the world to them. They get to school on time, they’re not exhausted – it has a tremendous effect.” (source)

Some of the benefits for the kids are:

• get to school (which wouldn’t always be possible without a bike)
• arrive at school on time instead of late
• begin the school day alert instead of exhausted
• stay for extra lessons at the end of the school day
• reach higher academic achievement
• arrive home earlier
• help their families more at home
• remain safe by travelling home from school in daylight

What You Can Do?

There are different ways that you can invest in bikes4Africa.

If you are in the UK and want to donate a bike, know that it must meet certain specifications (see this PDF). For more details check out the Jole Rider site.

Gloucester prison

Via BBCJole Rider