Why Rotary clubs want your old bike

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The island’s Rotary clubs are appealing to the Manx public for old bicycles.

They will be used as part of a drive to help educate children in Africa.

Spokesman Nigel Dobson said: ‘We firmly believe that the best way to help Third World countries is with sustainable aid, and nothing is more sustainable than an education.

‘One of the difficulties in many parts of Africa is the sheer distance that children often have to travel from their villages to the nearest school, often involving walking many miles which is not the best way to start a day of learning.’

Now the island’s Rotary clubs have joined forces with an organisation called Jolerider (pronounced Jolly Rider) which takes secondhand bikes, reconditions them and then ships them out to schools in Africa.

Mr Dobson added: ‘Jolerider already work with over 200 Rotary clubs and have developed reliable contacts where schools take possession of the refurbished bikes and lend then to suitable students aged 11 and upwards to travel between their homes and schools for the duration of their education.

‘The bikes are then returned to the school and offered to another student.

‘We hope to collect enough bikes to fill a container – around 330 – and Manx Independent Carriers has offered to transport the bikes to the UK free of charge where Jolerider will take over and transport them to the schools.’

Each bike costs around £10 to transport from the UK to Gambia and the Rotary clubs are organising a variety of fundraising events to help cover these costs.

Mr Dobson said: ‘If you have a bike you no longer use, stuck in the back of the garage, one the children have outgrown, the bike you used before you treated yourself to a new one then please contact us.’

For the south and west contact Brian Coole on 493648, in the east Carol Howard on 620829 and in Laxey and the north Nigel Dobson on 215515 or email nigel@suremail.im to arrange to drop off the bike or for Rotary to arrange collection.

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