South Africa is one of the fastest developing countries in the world, making leaps and bounds to becoming an international stakeholder in various sectors and setting the pace for other growing countries across the continent. Even though there has been much progress as a country, there is still a stark lack of safe, reliable public transport particularly in rural areas. However, an NPO named Qhubeka helps to mobilize people by offering bicycles in return for good work done in the community, the environment or academic achievements.

qhubeka-40-1024x682This exchange is especially valuable for school going children in rural areas. Of the 16 million scholars in South Africa 12 million walk to school, some of whom have a daily commute of up to four hours. By providing these children with bicycles, Qhubeka aims to improve attendance rates and make the journey to and from school safer for children in vulnerable areas.

It is not only school children who benefit from this exchange; Qhubeka also facilitates other projects such as Qhubeka Eco and Qhubeka Health. Qhubeka ECO projects in partnership with Wildlands Conservation Trust, provides people with bicycles in exchange for the work done to improve their communities and the environment such as planting trees or recycling waste. Qhubeka Health provides bicycles to healthcare workers with the result that access to health care services and patient visits increase in the Qhubeka Health project areas.

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“It occurred to me while I was riding my bicycle”- Albert Einstein, with reference to the theory of relativity