Volk­swa­gen boost for World Bi­cy­cle Re­lief

The Witness - Wheels - - BIKING -

VOLK­SWA­GEN South Africa to­gether with its part­ners Qhubeka and World Vi­sion South Africa re­turned to a KwaZu­luNatal school to con­duct bike­main­te­nance and a road-safety clinic, and de­liver back­packs filled with books and sta­tionery.

The groups had, in April and May, do­nated 1 100 bi­cy­cles to pupils from 20 ru­ral schools in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

The cost of one bi­cy­cle is R2 320 and pupils, par­ents or guardians are re­quired to sign a con­tract which stip­u­lates the terms and con­di­tions of us­ing the bi­cy­cle (school at­ten­dance). The bi­cy­cle be­comes the per­sonal prop­erty of the pupil af­ter the two-year con­tract has elapsed.

A re­cent re­port by World Bi­cy­cle Re­lief re­vealed that aca­demic per­for­mance in­creases by an av­er­age of 59% af­ter re­ceiv­ing a bi­cy­cle and the av­er­age school at­ten­dance im­proves by 28%, as pupils spend less time com­mut­ing and more time in class­rooms. “The suc­cess of our ini­tial do­na­tion of bi­cy­cles has inspired us to look at other op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­tend our com­mit­ment to mak­ing a small but im­pact­ful dif­fer­ence in the lives of the pupils in the schools we are sup­port­ing.

Thomas Schaefer, MD of Volk­swa­gen Group South Africa, said: “As a re­sult we have part­nered with some of our deal­er­ships in KwaZulu-Natal and Nal’ibali in do­nat­ing read­ing ma­te­rial and sta­tionery to the school.”

Schaefer added: “We hope read­ing will em­power the pupils and open their eyes to the new world filled with in­def­i­nite op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

Twelve par­tic­i­pat­ing VW deal­er­ships in KZN col­lected books and sta­tionery to fill back­packs along with a Nal’ibali bilin­gual story card and sup­ple­ment to en­cour­age read­ing for en­joy­ment.

The bi­cy­cle-main­te­nance and road-safety clinic is the pi­lot pro­ject and will be rolled out to all other bi­cy­cle re­cip­i­ents later this year.

PHOTO: QUICK­PIC

A pupil shows his slalom skills at a KwaZulu-Natal school.

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