Qhubeka, a charity that moves people forward with bicycles distributed 175 bicycles to schoolchildren and Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) volunteers in the Paarl East community (150 bicycles for learners and 25 for NHW members). The learners’ bicycles have been funded by Team Dimension Data, Africa’s first World Tour cycling team and will help schoolchildren to travel to and from school more easily.
The NHW bicycles, funded by Nederburg (one of the team’s sponsors), will boost safety in the community by improving NHW members’ ability to do security patrols and turning chaperoned school walking “buses” into school cycling “buses”.
The learners receiving bicycles are from Charleston Hill Secondary School, which is part of a large-scale Qhubeka learn-to-earn programme in the region that will see a total of 3 000 bicycles distributed. The programme will be rolled out by Qhubeka’s implementation partner, the Western Cape Government: Health.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka believes that bicycles change lives, which is why they ride to raise funds and awareness for Qhubeka. Today, team riders and staff, as well as the team’s sponsors, have the opportunity to see the fruits of their efforts.
“As part of their training camp in preparation for the 2018 season, Team Dimension Data is attending today’s bicycle distribution ceremony,” explains Qhubeka Executive Director, Tsatsi Phaweni. “We’re thrilled that they can be here. They raise funds for 5 000 bicycles for Qhubeka programmes every year and today they can hear first-hand from the children and their teachers and families how bicycles will make their lives better. To date, over 17 000 bicycles have been funded by the team since 2013.”
Qhubeka programmes operate on a work-to-earn or learn-to-earn basis, and the schoolchildren receiving bicycles today have committed to completing a basic first aid and road safety course by accredited training providers, and to improving their school attendance and academic performance.
“This is the best part of the season for me and the team,” says Doug Ryder, Team Principal at Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka. “We race over 250 days of the year and this is why we ride so hard – so that we can see the impact here. Seeing the smiles on the faces of these individuals whose lives will be made easier with a bicycle is a privilege and makes it all worthwhile. Our riders remember these impact days when they are training long hours to be better each year, knowing the difference their success can make to others. These kids are also inspired by the fact that our riders earn a living from riding, so hopefully it will motivate them to want to be a Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka rider in the future.
“One of the reasons we’re so thrilled to be the title sponsor of Team Dimension Data is their partnership with Qhubeka,” says Ruth Rowan, Dimension Data’s Group Marketing Executive. “Dimension Data and our employees around the world are committed to fully supporting the team’s #BicyclesChangeLives project by raising funds and creating awareness of the incredible work that Team Dimension Data and Qhubeka do across Africa.”
Jim Moffatt, Head of Deloitte Global Consulting, says, “Through their efforts to raise funds and awareness for Qhubeka, Team Dimension Data powered by Deloitte is helping to change lives by creating pathways for individuals to access education and greater opportunity. Deloitte is proud to be a part of this effort as we take our role as global citizens very seriously. Deloitte shares a common vision with Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka – we strive for professional excellence while making an impact that matters for people and society.”
Nederburg supports Qhubeka programmes that target adults. Nederburg Brand Development Manager, Robyn Bradshaw, says, “Transferring skills and building knowledge is a key priority for Nederburg. We believe that ongoing curiosity, inquiry and discovery are essential elements to successfully carry out our core business of producing award-winning wines. With this ethos in mind, we endeavour to inspire others to learn more, to empower themselves and to continually look for ways in which to further their own life goals. We at Nederburg are truly thrilled to be involved in this project, thereby helping Team Dimension Data as well as Qhubeka to reach more people, and change more lives.”
The schools that form part of this Qhubeka learn-to-earn programme are members of the Western Cape Government: Health’ WesternCape on Wellness initiative, aka WoW! Dr Frederick Marais, Deputy Director: Wellness – Western Cape Government: Health, says, “We are very pleased to be partnering with and supporting the important work of Qhubeka. WoW! aims to co-create a culture of wellness through partnership in order to maximise the potential of people; including their physical health, social, emotional and financial well-being. In addition to health benefits through physical movement, bicycles empower people by increasing access to resources, social connectedness, inclusiveness and gender equity.”
For more information at www.qhubeka.org.