South Africa, 3 October 2019 – Qhubeka Charity is thrilled to be celebrating its first bicycle distribution event with new partner, Absa, in the Drakenstein region of the Western Cape province.
Absa, a major African financial services provider, has committed to a partnership with Qhubeka, with funding in place for 900 bicycles for Qhubeka beneficiaries. Today’s distribution ceremony sees 250 children from Paulus Joubert Secondary School in Drakenstein receiving the first of these bicycles as part of a Qhubeka learn-to-earn programme.
“With Absa’s support, Paulus Joubert Secondary School will be the sixth school that we’re ‘filling’,” says Qhubeka Executive Director Tsatsi Phaweni. “This speaks to our policy of ‘no child without’, aimed at ensuring every child in schools we partner with has a bicycle to make getting to and from class easier. It also helps us to build a bicycle culture in South Africa, one school at a time. Absa is helping us to fill another school – Klein Nederburg Secondary School – in the coming weeks, with two distributions that total more than 300 bicycles, as well as distributing 150 bicycles to volunteers at the Paarl Community Policing Forum (CPF), which will improve their ability to do visible safety patrolling.”
Phaweni adds that Absa has provided financial literacy training to the schoolchildren and intends to set up solar-powered systems at the host schools as part of their ongoing investment into the community.
“This will all benefit the people who are part of the Qhubeka Drakenstein SHIFT project,” she says. “A SHIFT is a Qhubeka bicycle project that aims to distribute 5 000 bicycles per year into a specific geographic area for five years, with the aim of helping to SHIFT the entire community forward. We are thankful to Absa and our other partners working to help us change more lives with bicycles here in Drakenstein, and throughout South Africa.”
According to Bongiwe Gangeni, Deputy CEO of Absa Retail and Business Bank, “Absa’s strategy is to get closer to our customers and the communities that we serve as we are committed to bringing possibilities to life. Partnerships such as this are vital to deliver on this ambition. Our contribution to the children is to make their lives easier as they get to and from school every day.”