In April 2016, Qhubeka and loveLife signed an MOU for a new programme – the groundBREAKER Mobility Project – to mobilise loveLife youth volunteers with Qhubeka Buffalo Bicycles. On 30 June, the first of these bicycles were distributed, with a total of 1 108 bicycles delivered into the programme in total to date.
The groundBREAKER Mobility Project aims to help the loveLife volunteers, known as groundBREAKERs and mpintshis, to implement community programmes more effectively and efficiently through the use of bicycles.
The bicycles were funded by the #BicyclesChangeLives campaign, in partnership with Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka – Africa’s first UCI registered World Tour cycling team.
The Qhubeka team visited the Kwanobuhle Youth Centre, funded by Volkswagen South Africa, just outside of Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape to find out from the loveLife volunteers how these bicycles will change the their lives and impact the communities in which they work.
“It’s encouraging to hear how these volunteers, who invest their time and energy in guiding and shaping South Africa’s youth, will be able to save time and money through using the bicycles for their work,” says Qhubeka Executive Director Sarah Phaweni. “It’s a privilege and a pleasure to support them into becoming more efficient and effective in the transformative work they are doing, and we look forward to hearing great things from the loveLife groundBREAKERs and mpintshis.”
The groundBREAKERs, on how bicycles benefit them
“As a groundBREAKER, I look after life skills in four schools in the Northern Areas of Port Elizabeth,” says Shevriano Billet (21), a groundBREAKER in Booysens Park. “I do two periods in each school per week. During that time I talk about lifestyle choices, career options, and HIV / AIDS awareness. The schools are far from each other, so a bicycle will save me time. I’m also excited about having a bicycle because the books we have to carry between schools are really heavy and this will make it so much easier to transport them.”
Siphokazi Mnyobe (23), shares, “I am most excited about this bicycle because of my health. We don’t normally gym because it costs too much money and we don’t have time, but I believe this bicycle will make me fit and get me in shape while saving me time.”
“I work at three schools. It takes an hour to walk between each one,” says Nolusindiso Janijies (20). “I look after three schools, so with my bicycle I will be able to visit all three in one day, which means I’ll be able to stay in more regular contact with the learners there.”
Anelisa Tshanga (22), says, “I work with Grade 7, 8 and 9. My job is to teach these young teenagers to have a love for life. I live far. This means I walk very far every day. With a bicycle, my journey will be much quicker and I’ll have more energy to teach the young people about the changes they’ll experience as they go through puberty and help to teach them about lifestyle choices.”
Luthando Magugu (20) works at Nomangesi Jayiya Clinic, “This bicycle is going to change my life because the distances between the schools where I work are really far and I have to carry 14 to15 books between the schools.”
“As a groundBREAKER I work here at the Kwanobuhle Y-Centre teaching computer skills to people in the community. We’ve had 60 graduates in our programme so far. And we have another 60 that will graduate soon. Hopefully, this will help them get jobs and have a better life,” says Nomathamsanqa Mdaka (23). “With my bicycle, I’ll be able to get to the Y-Centre more easily each day as I live far away and it’s a long walk.”
“I live far away. I’ve been paying R180 a month in transport. I’m going to be able to save that money now,” enthuses Babalwa Majola (20). “As a groundBREAKER I work in Nomangese Jayiya clinic. I help with all kinds of things there. I am learning lots.”
About Qhubeka – visit www.qhubeka.org
About loveLife – visit www.lovelife.org.za
About Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka – visit dimensiondata.com
To contribute to the #BicyclesChangeLives Campaign, click here.
Article by Wendy van Eyck (Qhubeka)