Volkswagen's 2019 Scholar Mobility Programme kicked off with a handover of 50 Blue Bikes to the Uitenhage community in the Eastern Cape. The second phase will see 350 Blue Bikes handed over in 2019.
Following handovers in Bergville (Kwa-Zulu Natal), Alexandra (Gauteng) and Soweto (Gauteng) this year, community members in Uitenhage are the fourth recipients of Blue Bikes in 2018.
Volkswagen and Qhubeka‘s Blue Bikes project called Bicycle Education Empowerment Programme (BEEP) seek to provide motion with meaning to South Africans. Through the project and the continued partnership with Qhubeka, thousands of custom-made bicycles have been made available to communities in order to improve their access to schools, jobs and clinics.
The first phase of the Scholar Mobility and Community Policing Forum (CPF) Programme in KwaNobuhle, Uitenhage saw LoveLife Ground Breakers (gB), CPF and Neighbourhood Watch members, as well as Health Care Clinics and Health Care Workers, receive 50 Blue Bikes.
"The Blue Bikes will help empower LoveLife with a mechanism to mobilize its Ground Breakers to improve youth engagement and to drive specific strategic objectives of the LoveLife Centre in KwaNobuhle; improve the CPF volunteers’ ability to do visible security patrols in the community, and also enable healthcare workers to service more households and deliver more medicine for the infirm," said Thomas Schaefer, chairman and managing director of Volkswagen Group South Africa.
"We will also implement a sustainable bicycle maintenance programme by a Qhubeka-trained and certified mechanic from the community to ensure that the bicycles remain operational," added Schaefer.
Each of the recipients receives a Blue Bike, pump, helmet, tools and lock as well as training provided by a bicycle field mechanic. The bicycle field mechanic also addresses all technical defects that arise with the bicycles, which include troubleshooting issues regarding mechanics.
The second phase of the Scholar Mobility and CPF Programme will see 350 bicycles handed over in Uitenhage next year.
"At Volkswagen we move people forward and over the past four years, in partnership with Qhubeka, Volkswagen has empowered communities by donating over 4 000 Blue Bikes to children, health care workers and CPF members across South Africa. In 2018 alone close to 1 000 Blue Bikes were handed over to South Africans thus giving them the gift of motion," concluded Schaefer.
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