Earlier this week, at a private function in Johannesburg, Samsung Electronics South Africa, in line with their sponsorship with Team MTN-Qhubeka, presented a cheque for R2-million to Qhubeka. This contribution will go towards to purchasing bicycles for the communities in which Qhubeka operates.
Qhubeka which means to ‘move forward’, is a corporate social investment project which aims to assist rural communities by providing bicycles in return for work done to improve their environment and communities. The sponsorship, part of the Samsung’s key focus on making a difference in the societies in which it operates, sees Samsung not only supporting the MTN-Qhubeka cycling team financially, but through this partnership, a percentage of Samsung GALAXY smartphones and tablets sales are used to continue to fuel the Qhubeka World Bicycle Relief Programme.
“Through Qhubeka, the sponsorship has really focused on core principles key to Samsung namely sustainability, youth empowerment, transforming education and healthcare,” says Craige Fleischer, Director of Mobile Communications at Samsung Electronics South Africa. “The work Qhubeka does with giving bicycles in return for work done to improve their environment – truly delivers real hope for children and communities alike – which is an extension of our global Hope for Children initiative.”
The benefits that accrue to such communities not only include reducing the time it takes for children to walk to school by up to 75%, but it also allows the children to get to school on time without exhaustion or fatigue –increasing concentration and improve their circumstances. “Our aim is to contribute to the empowerment of the communities in which the programme is offered and improved access to education. This introduction to the sport of cycling also boosts these local economies through the creation of whole new income generating streams for the recipients centred around the Qhubeka bicycles. These include the ability to rent these bikes to friend and family or starting a small delivery operation. Through the encouragement of cultural activities we have witnessed a number of unique entrepreneurial initiatives by these individuals which are assisting these communities in becoming increasingly more self-sufficient,” adds Fleischer.
What’s more, Team MTN-Qhubeka is also making Africa proud as their debut season in Europe sees them as the first UCI-registered Professional Continental team competing from Africa. In its 120 race days completed this year, the team has already won 10, received two team prices, been on the podium 17 times, and finished more than 53 times in the top 10.
“We are fully behind this project, as not only are we focused on mobilising consumers through our smart technology, but certainly through initiatives which create opportunities and uplift communities. We are also proud of the pro-continental team who is showing the rest of the world just how well Africa can compete on a national level and we wish them all the best for the remainder of the season,” concludes Fleischer.