For his Bar Mitzvah, a young Canadian cyclist, 13-year old Jacob Rudolph (being held up by a group of his friends in the photo above), decided to help other young people to enjoy the benefits a bicycle brings.
Jacob is in grade 8 at Hillfield Strathallan College in Hamilton and says he was very excited to support Qhubeka. “I am very lucky and did not need gifts for my Bar Mitzvah. It is also tradition as part of this coming of life ceremony to do a mitzvah, or project to help others,” he says. “I cycle competitively in the road race category with the National Cycling Centre Hamilton (NCCH) here in Canada. Since I see bicycles as a healthy, sustainable, and economical means of transportation, and readily available transportation is an important tool to permit people to pursue opportunities for education, health, and employment, I chose to support two cycling related not-for-profit organisations for my mitzvah project.”
Jacob chose a local organisation, New Hope Community Bikes, for its work with youth, women, new Canadians (i.e. Syrian refugees), and lower income families in Hamilton, as well as Qhubeka for its international work in South Africa.
“I learned about Qhubeka because of Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka,” he explains. “It is one of my favourite professional cycling teams that I follow and I was very intrigued by Qhubeka’s work. I also wanted to support work in Africa because of my involvement with Me to We/Free the Children through our school. It seemed like a perfect fit.”
“In lieu of gifts, I asked my guests to support Qhubeka and/or New Hope Community Bikes. I asked my guests to either make a financial donation and/or to donate inner tubes. We were able to raise about $6 000 CDN. That is why I was able to deliver a bank draft to New Hope and to wire the almost R25 000 to you.”
Qhubeka sent Jacob a photo of Mutemi (below), one of the learners who received a bicycle through our programmes, to show the impact donations like his can have through connecting people in Africa with bicycles. Mutemi told us that his life is better with a bicycle: “My bicycle means I can get fit and when I go to school the trip is easy and I am less tired.”
“It is neat that he is 13 too and that he wants to become a doctor,” says Jacob. “I love that he is getting more fit riding. He is a real life example of how we can work together to help others and what their generous support is assisting. Knowing you have the money to help more kids like Mutemi get bikes makes feel so good now.”
Thank you, Jacob, for your support and for helping more people to understand how bicycles can shift people and communities forward! We’re so proud to have supporters like you.