Last weekend, the Afri-Bike Coalition completed a successful bicycle collection that spanned several years. The purpose of the collection was to gather enough bicycles (at least 500) in order to fill a shipping container so that the collected bicycles could be shipped to Ghana.
The Wheatley Afri-Bike Coalition is a large group of high school students who are members of many collaborating clubs, led by The Wheatley Environmental Action Committee. Since 1999, The Wheatley Afri-Bike Coalition has collected, processed, and sent over 2500 bikes to Ghana.
According to Steve Finkelstein, faculty advisor for the club, “Most residents of Ghana live on about a dollar a day, will never own cars, and do not have electricity or running water. Bikes are economical, environmentally friendly, and easier to repair and maintain than cars. They are the most socially and environmentally appropriate form of transportation technology for Ghanaians of any age, class, or gender. Bicycles increase access to school, work, market place, and health care and help poor, rural Ghanains to help themselves.”
Emily Giunta, president of the club explained, “It’s such a feeling of accomplishment when we finally process and load all 500 bikes, close the container, and wave them goodbye! It’s a good feeling to know that our unused can actually change someone’s life – or a whole family’s life- in a poor African village.”
We are grateful for the efforts of all of our students. Mr. Finkelstein deserves particular praise for his tremendous efforts in making sure that this collection would be a success!
[Thanks to Mr. Finkelstein for sharing these photos!]