Qhubeka is World Bicycle Relief’s program in South Africa. World Bicycle Relief is a global non-profit organization dedicated to advancing education, health and economic opportunities by providing simple, sustainable transportation. Since World Bicycle Relief’s founding in 2005, it has delivered more than 220,000 specially designed, locally assembled bicycles to people in need.
Qhubeka helps people move forward and progress by giving bicycles in return for work done to improve communities, the environment or academic results. Having a bicycle changes lives by increasing the distance people can travel, what they can carry, where they can go and how fast they can get there.
We accomplish this mission by designing, sourcing and manufacturing bicycles created to withstand rough terrain and load requirements while meeting the needs of students, healthcare workers, farmers and entrepreneurs.
We strengthen local economies and promote long-term sustainability by assembling bicycles locally, training mechanics, improving the spare parts supply chain, and providing high-quality, affordable bicycles to people in need of transportation.
Most of Africa’s population have no access to transport and people have to walk long distances to access opportunity, education, healthcare, shops and community services. Rural schoolchildren are particularly badly affected by lack of mobility.
Walking to school is good exercise as long as the distance is reasonable. An average person can walk 2km to 3km in half an hour. According to information released by Statistics South Africa in July 2014, eight million children in Grade 0 to Grade 12 walk all the way to school. Two million of these children walk for over 30 minutes to get to school. In other words they walk more than 6km just going to and from school each day.
Half a million South African children walk for more than an hour to school, which means every day they may be walking more than 12km to school and back. The percentage of children walking more than an hour to school and back each day increased by 0,7% between 2003 and 2013.
Bicycles are the most effective and economical method of quickly addressing this problem.