FERNDALE, WA (BRAIN)—Kona has partnered with the HopeFirst Foundation to provide children in Gambia, Africa a better way to get to school.
HopeFirst’s goal is to deliver 300 Kona AfricaBikes (100 donated by Kona) to middle-schoolers in rural Gambia as a more reliable means of travel to school. Most secondary schools are located outside most villages and since there’s no public transportation, some children walk up to 12 miles to school round-trip.
The headmaster of each secondary school will distribute, or loan, the Kona AfricaBikes to the children who travel the farthest to school. The security and maintenance of the bikes will also be overseen by the respective headmasters.
Girls are at a particular disadvantage when it comes to attending school as they’re not seen as equals. Thus, girls will especially benefit from the availability of AfricaBikes, as they are vulnerable to harassment and rape on long walks to and from school. Similarly, many girls are kept home from school due to chores, so if they spend less time getting to and from school parents may agree to let them participate in becoming better educated.
HopeFirst Foundation’s mission is to transform the lives of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS, as well as the general well-being of children in both the U.S. and Africa. In addition to their ongoing work in Zimbabwe, Sandy Murray, a foundation member and registered nurse, oversees projects based in Gambia—including the AfricaBike project.
Do you want to take part in the HopeFirst Foundation’s AfricaBike funrasier to send bikes to Gambia?
Click on link to donate.