Mandurah and Pinarra rotary club members fix bicycles for needy African communities

A consignment of bicycles is loaded at the Meelon facility ready for transport to Africa.
A consignment of bicycles is loaded at the Meelon facility ready for transport to Africa.

Needy communities in Africa are receiving bikes fixed up by Mandurah and Pinjarra volunteers.

The Bicycles for Hope project involves collecting donated second hand bicycles and then repairing/refurbishing them ready for transport.

The bikes are transported to Africa in 40ft shipping containers which, once placed in an approved community, are converted to a local bike shop from which the bikes are sold and future repairs are carried out.

"Many needy communities in Africa are isolated by the tyranny of distance however, with the use of bikes people are able to travel faster and carry more equipment/produce that are are currently able to, thus making these communities more efficient," Mandurah District Rotary Club member Marg Pantall said.

Originally the Mandurah club took on the project by itself but about one year ago invited the Rotary Club of Pinjarra to join.

The Pinjarra Community Mens Shed was at the same time engaged to do the repairs/refurbishments.

"Rotary Club of Pinjarra have become very involved with the project and are currently providing the majority of physical support to the project and are very involved in collecting and transporting bikes and have also provided additional premises in which they are stored," Ms Pantall said.

Last week the team delivered 20 repaired bikes to Perth ready for shipping to Africa.

"This is a project which offers members the opportunity to participate in a very real and worthwhile international and community project," Ms Pantall said.

"I would encourage [residents] to consider how you can become involved in a project that is cost neutral for the club but which requires personal involvement, which can be quite stimulating and satisfying.

"No special skills are required, simply a desire to be involved."

There are opportunities to join in the activities of the project both at the Pinjarra Mens Shed and at the Rotary Club of Pinjarra facility at Meelon (about 12km south of Pinjarra). Contact Marg Pantall on 0438 008 331.