COMPLETED HopeFirst Foundation sent 170 Kona AfricaBikes to The Gambia in 2010.
Purpose: To assist the children of rural Gambia to get to school. Most villages have a primary school, but secondary schools are spaced farther apart. There is no public transportation, and rarely a motorized vehicle. Middle school children walk the round trip to and from school each day, many as far as 12 miles round trip.
Plan: The AfricaBikes will be shipped on a sea container to The Gambia. Upon arrival in country, the bikes will be delivered by truck transport to Medina Wallum and/or Jurunku, The Gambia by transport truck. The recipient of the AfricaBikes will be the Head Master of the secondary school in these villages. S/he will be responsible to distribute (loan) the bicycles to the children that travel the farthest to reach school (as well as for the security and maintenance of bikes). The bicycles will be owned by the schools to provide a sustainable ongoing transportation program.
Villages lack water, food, healthcare, schools, and enterprise. Education is the piece of the puzzle that can connect and help alleviate these problems. Transportation to school for children that live too far to walk will ensure that every child gets the chance to learn.
Girls may especially benefit from the AfricaBikes, as they are frequently kept home from school to do chores (sweep, gather wood, carry water, pound rice). If they spend less time getting to and from school, parents may agree to let them be educated.