Volkswagen South Africa and Qhubeka provide transport to more than 1000 learners in Bergville, Kwa-Zulu Natal through the donation of ‘Blue Bikes’

Volkswagen, under its “Volkswagen for Good” banner, has turned Bergville blue, with the donation of a further 1000 bicycles to school children in the area, as well as local community policing forums. The bicycle donation forms part of Volkswagen’s “Blue Bikes” empowerment initiative in partnership with Qhubeka, through which it has donated over 3 600 bicycles over the past five years. 

Over 11 million of South Africa’s 17 million school children are still walking to school, taking some of them hours every day to travel to and from school. With a bicycle, people can travel faster and further, and carry more. The significance of the impact is immeasurable, as is the sense of freedom and purpose that comes with being mobile. 

“Volkswagen is all about ‘moving people forward’ and we are thrilled to be able to play our part in helping these learners progress. But we recognise that it’s about more than just a bicycle. In fact, it goes far beyond transport. For these children, the gift of a bicycle means more time to dream, to grow, to succeed, to aspire, to shine. And more time to be a child,” said Andile Dlamini, Head of Communications, Volkswagen Group South Africa.

Take Nokwazi for example, a 16-year old from Ubulinga Secondary School in Bergville. Nokwazi wakes up at 4:30am, goes to collect and boil water for her and her two siblings, takes a bath, dishes up food for everyone to eat, then starts the commute to school. What used to take her an hour on foot, now only takes 15 minutes on her bicycle. This means that Nokwazi has an extra hour and a half added to every day – time she can now spend studying and playing.

“Nokwazi’s story is the norm for so many children in South Africa, and it is saddening. Kids should be kids! They should go to school with full tummies and sharp, rested brains to learn, then go home with plenty of time to do their homework, to play, to explore and to dream”, says comedian Celeste Ntuli. “Too many children have had to take on adult responsibilities, and while those issues and family dynamics are harder to solve, we can still do something to help them along the way.” Ntuli joined for the latest distribution of Volkswagen’s “Blue Bikes” initiative and recently went to visit Bergville to meet some of the bicycle recipients, including Nokwazi. Watch the video here.

Recipients gathered on the 6th of August to try out their new bikes and race against one another at a very special Derby Day – an event at which the gift of mobility and the success of their futures was celebrated. Nolwazi won her age category and was absolutely delighted.

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