CAPTION: Smiles all round as a container with 500 bicycles from the United Kingdom arrives at the Bicycling Empowerment Network (BEN)’s Muizenberg premises. The import was made possible thanks to the generous donation by the Rotary Club of Claremont. These bicycles will be distributed through the Bicycling Empowerment Centres (BEC) in and around Mitchells Plain, Maneneberg, Masiphumelele, Ocean View, Montagu, Struisbaai, Bredasdorp and Westlake.

In areas where poverty is rife, skills development, entrepreneurship and safer transport can make a big positive difference. The Bicycling Empowerment Network (BEN) in and around Cape Town understands this and sets out to make a positive difference in the lives in the communities in which they operate.

The Bicycle Empowerment Centres (BEC), which forms part of the BEN, are run by individuals from the communities who have been trained in bicycle repair and maintenance. They receive tools and a supply of bicycles, enabling them to start their own community bicycle workshops.

“These bicycles will be distributed mainly through the BEC’s, which are situated in Mitchells Plain, Maneneberg, Masiphumelele, Ocean View, Montagu, Struisbaai, Bredasdorp and Westlake,” says BEN Fundraiser, Megan Pringle. “Some of the bicycles will also be distributed through BEN’s school bicycle projects, which sees ten Western Cape Schools each receive ten bicycles. Each learner receiving a bicycle also receives bicycle safety training. This project aims not only to provide learners with a safe means of transport to their place of education, but also to promote cycling as a healthy and positive activity to the youth, in areas that are stricken by gangsterism, poverty and crime,” adds Pringle.

“We are incredibly thankful to the Rotary Club of Claremont for their ongoing support and for making this importation of bicycles possible. It allows us to carry out our work of promoting safe and affordable, accessible mobility for all walks of life,” concludes Pringle.

For more information about BEN contact +27 21 7884174 or visit http://www.benbikes.org.za/. Join BEN’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BENSouthAfrica.

For more information about the Rotary Club of Claremont contact claremont@rotary9350.co.za or visit http://claremontrotary.co.za/home/. Join Rotary Club of Claremont’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RotaryClubofClaremont/.