bikes4Africa is the flagship programme of registered charity JOLE RIDER in support of its mission:
to change lives through education
JOLE RIDER began with a single idea: a charity bike ride of 1,000 miles from John O’Groats to Land’s End. The charity name is derived from the name of the ride - the JOLE 1000, the distance in miles from Land's End to John O'Groats. That ride is now the charity's signature bike ride – a ride, done by so many people, that shows just what human endeavour can achieve.
The concept of bikes4Africa arrived with the charity's founders, David Swettenham and Helen King, out of nowhere after the idea of the ride. Delivering bicycles to schools in Africa fittted perfectly with the JOLE RIDER ethos, providing an apparently simple solution to the major problem faced by many African children, access to education.
Many African children live in remote communities, a long way from their nearest school. Without reliable, affordable, motorised transport the only way these children can get to school is to walk.
In searing heat, their journey to education on foot is an epic mission for them - every day.
Having a bicycle makes a world of difference for these children, for their families and communities as well. The long-term difference to their lives, in terms of their achievements and well-being, is beyond measure..
bikes4Africa refurbishes donated second-hand bikes and delivers them from the UK to African schools, where they enable children to...
• get to school on time, instead of late
• begin the school day alert, instead of exhausted
• stay for extra lessons at the end of the school day
• remain safe by travelling home from school in daylight
• reach a much higher standard of academic achievement
Once David and Helen had the idea of collecting bikes to send to Africa, they realised they needed to go to Africa! Invited to join a new acquaintance on a trip to The Gambia, they arrived in the rural village of Gunjur armed with a single token bike.