Volkswagen, under its “Volkswagen for Good” banner, has turned Soweto blue, with the donation of bicycles to school children in the area. The bicycle donation forms part of Volkswagen’s “Blue Bikes” project in partnership with Qhubeka, through which it has donated close to 4 000 bicycles over the past five years.
Over 11 million of South Africa’s 17 million school children walk to school, taking some of them hours every day. Schools experience high rates of absenteeism because of children walking long distances and, in many instances, children drop out of school due to these challenges which limit their access to education and therefore their future prospects.
With a bicycle, children can travel faster, further and more safely. The significance of the impact is immeasurable, as is the sense of freedom and purpose that comes with being mobile.
To equip the children to be ready for the road on their new bikes, Volkswagen and Qhubeka provide training, a helmet, bicycle lock and other essential tools that make the transition smoother for the recipients.
“Volkswagen is about ‘moving people forward’ and we are thrilled to play our part in helping these learners progress. This is about more than just a bicycle, it goes far beyond transport because for these children, the gift of a bicycle means more time to dream, to grow, to succeed, to aspire, to shine and more time to be a child,” said Andile Dlamini, Head of Communications, Volkswagen Group South Africa.
Students from Lofentse Girls High School, Bona Comprehensive School and Orlando High School will gathered on 5 September 2019 to receive their new Blue Bikes at the Orlando East Community Hall in Soweto – an event at which the gift of mobility and the success of their futures was celebrated.
“Just last month, we were celebrating the donation of 1 000 bicycles to the Bergville community through a Derby Day. We are now back in Gauteng to handover an additional 350 bicycles to children in Soweto. We are excited to see the impact that these bikes will have on this community in the years to come,” concludes Dlamini.