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Bicycles benefit Bergville kids

Written by Hlengiwe Ngobese
Qhubeka and Volkswagen believe that less time travelling to school means more time to learn, more time to play and more time with family.

Learners from Bergville in KwaZulu-Natal no longer have to walk long distances to get to school.Missing classes because of the long distances between their homes and school is a thing of the past for learners from four disadvantaged schools in Bergville in the western part of KwaZulu-Natal.

Volkswagen, in partnership with Qhubeka and World Vision, donated 600 bicycles to Tholithemba, Maqoqa, Ubulinga and Qhozo high schools as part of the Bicycle Education Empowerment Programme.

Learners travel up to 5km to school.

Speaking to Vuk’uzenzele Qhubeka founder Antony Fitzhenry said the organisation has donated 3 000 Blue Bikes to children across South Africa since 2005.

“Qhubeka and Volkswagen believe that less time travelling to school means more time to learn, more time to play and more time with family. Education is not only for the Department of Basic Education but is for all of us.

“In May 300 Blue Bikes were donated here in Bergville, to add to the 300 we are donating today.  We will be distributing a total of 1 100 bicycles in 2017,” he said.

Fitzhenry said after donating their first batch of bicycles the recipients had shown a passion for cycling. 

“Six learners won the local Bergville cycling race. Volkswagen is taking their commitment a step further this year. With a support team in place Volkswagen will be supporting these six youngsters on a brave and challenging journey on ‘the road to 947’ to take part in Gauteng later this year,” he said.

One of the beneficiaries, Gugu Zwane (15) who is in Grade 10 at Maqoqa High School, said they used to walk long distances which resulted in them missing some of the lessons, but now life has changed.

“The bicycles will not only serve as our means of transport to school but will also encourage us to attend school regularly,” she said.

Maqoqa school principal Madoda Dube said they are very grateful for the support from Volkswagen and Qhubeka.

“The performance of the learners has improved drastically after the first donation. We will continue making sure that these bicycles are taken care of in order to help other learners following them,” he said.

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