Ballycastle Rotary appeal for old bikes

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For many African children, the daily, long journey to school each day is one undertaken by foot, often in searing heat.

Not only do these youngsters arrive late, they also begin the school day exhausted.

Bikes 4 Africa and Books 4 Africa aim to change lives through education and as flagship programmes proudly sponsored by Rotary International Britain and Ireland, they present themselves as easy to engage with projects targeting poverty and improving literacy and learning.

Bikes 4 Africa refurbishes donated second hand bikes and delivers them to African schools, whilst Books 4 Africa supplies suitable story, textbook and reference publications in support of the school curriculum.

With every bike received, £10 shipment funding is also required to ensure their passage to Africa – for the books; this translates into 50p per title.

Last year, members of the Rotary Club of Ballycastle amassed over 200 bikes and countless books for this very worthy cause and in doing so became the largest Rotary donors in the country.

Project leaders, Gemma McHenry and Peter Dallat were so delighted with the response that they have directed their efforts to overseeing the project this year again.

“We would continue to urge the local community to give the matter some serious thought” said Gemma, a sentiment echoed by Peter who is certain that there remains plenty of unused bikes and books in the locality - each one with the potential to change a life.

“There has been a terrific groundswell of support and as Rotarians we are well aware of the generosity of the people of Moyle.”

For those who cannot donate a bike or books, monetary contributions are equally acceptable, going in no small measure towards the cost of delivering our items to their intended destination.

With the highly anticipated arrival of the Giro d’Italia in a few months time and the subject of cycling high on the agenda, why not spare a thought for those to whom a bicycle represents much more than sporting equipment.

Please contact Peter Dallat on 07764221099. Please support this fantastic cause.