Re~Cycle is delighted to have given its 60,000th bike from the UK to a new owner in Mombasa, Kenya. Stephen, an orphan aged 16 in south-west Kenya, said: “I had never gotten a bike of my own. So I am very grateful and happy for being given this bike”.
Stephen was living on the streets from the age of 10, after having troubles at home. He attended a street soccer programme run by Re~Cycle’s partner organisation in Kenya, Glad’s House. Through Glad’s House he received support, education and counselling sessions. The bike will enable Stephen to get around Mombasa quickly, getting to and from school.
Thousands of young people live on the streets of Mombasa, Kenya. For these children life has always been a struggle for survival, often leading to the misuse of alcohol, drugs and a life of crime. Glad’s House purpose is to help as many ‘street children & youths’ as possible so that they can lead a ‘normal life’ and realise their potential.
Street children in Kenya are perceived as ‘chokora’ – a Swahili word loaded with negative connotations associated with scavenging for food from rubbish tips. Street children are from diverse backgrounds. Some are from abusive homes or have been abandoned by their parents. Others have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS or dropped out of school to support their families.
Glad's House is a charity that aims to help street children return to a ‘normal’ way of life. They do this in a number of ways:
- Reuniting children with their families using their team of social workers. Alternatively, they help place the children with foster families.
- Placing children in full-time education
- Sports programmes to engage with the children and youths and provide practical and emotional support.
- Enterprise schemes that provide training and apprenticeships for young adults.
The bicycle project, 'Glad's House Bikes', has been established as a not for profit company to repair and sell reasonably priced and good quality bicycles to the local community.
The project provides cheap transport to assist young people start working for themselves. This is either for affordable transport to and from work or to assist them with their work (carrying and/or delivering). Funds raised from the bike project pay for schoolteachers, food and sports equipment.
Household research in Ghana has found that, on average, each bike is used between six and nine people, often shared within a family and borrowed by other village members or friends. That means, having recently shipped our 60,000th bike, that we’ve helped change the lives of at least 360,000 people!
There are many more children like Stephen who could benefit from the use of a bike. Help us give the power of the pedal - take part in a cycling challenge for Re~Cycle this year