No, you have not been misdirected to the wrong website. We are publishing a series of reports from the African adventures of intrepid Re~Cycle volunteer Vanessa. She's visiting some of our partners, and all your questions will be answered below....
You Give - The first Re~Cycle project we visited was the charity Glad’s House located in Mombasa, Kenya’s second largest city and main port. Liz and Bokey run the charity, which is dedicated to helping Mombasa’s street kids re-integrate into society.
We ship - Glad’s House have received 5 shipments of bikes from Re~Cycle, and ideally would like to receive a shipment every three months.
They thrive - Many of the kids are from broken homes or are orphans. For various reasons, the kids have been forced to live on the streets. Many are drug addicts, who have survived some 'fairly' traumatic experiences.
Re~Cycle bikes are sold to local tradesmen so they can carry their tools, or to local producers to take their goods to market. Locals also bring their bicycles into the workshop for repairs, and Glad’s House occasionally train local bike shops and organisations on bicycle repair and maintenance. The profits from the bike sales pay the wages of the bike mechanics and social workers who provide the counselling, and also fund the programmes such as the golf caddies and vocational training.
Some bikes are given or sold cheaply to street kids. I talked with Godfrey Wesonga, a 25 year old who has been coming to Glad’s House for 6 months now. Godfrey explained how the bike he was given by Glad’s House; before the bike he had to walk everywhere as he couldn’t afford to take the bus. He now uses his bicycle to commute to Glad’s House for counselling and football practice and to get to jobs. “Having a bicycle has made it much easier to sort out my problems and get ahead in life”.
Glad’s House does many things. It provides a respite from the hardships of life on the streets and gives the kids some semblance of normality. The project provides counselling, education, and vocational training via it’s bike mechanic and carpentry workshops. At present both workshops cater for 60 boys, most of whom are teenagers or in their early twenties. The kids come to Glad’s House one day a week, and, in addition to the counselling and training, receive lunch. There is a Glad’s House football team, and a golf caddy programme, which is currently training eleven of the kids to become caddies at a golf course just north of Mombasa.