This essay outlines how we can contribute to the changing of climate for better and the development of Africa through bringing a container of used bicycles from other countries.
My plan will include Climate Change and Development in Africa and Green Economy and Technology Transfer. At the age of sixteen, I started an organization called Hands of Life focused on cycling and sports to help empower the young people in my community. I have learned much from obtaining, selling, and donating bicycles within my community of Mafeteng, Lesotho. This has shown me the potential of bicycles to empower youth and persons in a green, sustainable manner. I want to take these lessons and move forward with a larger project aiming to bring a container of hundreds of bicycles to my community.
Addressing first Climate Change and Development in Africa, this project puts transport and development hand-in-hand. Virtually everything traded, must be transported, and almost everyone needs wheels to get to work or school. Simple, affordable transport generates income opportunities in developing countries, as well as saving time and back-breaking work. My organization Hands of Life can aid in reducing the level of climate change by encouraging the use of bicycles more often rather than cars that produce roughly a quarter of a kilogram of pollution per kilometer annually when bicycles produce none, and takes less resources from the environment to make.
With a purpose to help save the climate and develop Africa I believe that bicycles can play an essential role. Fortunately for Lesotho there are countries willing to donate bicycles for the people in the very remote areas to bring a sustainable method of transport for those in the urban areas to help cut down transport barriers and to promote healthy lifestyle as well as to help save the environment. Bikes for Lesotho organization is known for donating bicycles to Lesotho since 2013, according to Tumisaang Taabe, a youth ambassador responsible for receiving bicycles from Chicago. He said since the beginning of this project he has been selling bicycles for a surprisingly low cost of M350.00 per bike. He does this while also donating a large percentage of the bicycles received to those in need as well as to rural health workers. His model has worked and he has become very successful, but I believe it can be improved even further. Our project can truly build a nonprofit youth organization from just one container of bikes.
Furthermore, the project can grow by itself once implemented, under proper management, to further benefit the community through activities, events, trips, and the creation of a cycling shop, repair hub, and youth center. Reach is increased, new skills are gained, and public health improves. I, Tshepo Nkhabu, am dedicated to this vision. I have already made this happen on a smaller scale in my community, but my dream has grown. My organization is recognized; I have even recently been granted a US Peace Corps Volunteer who is now working with me. With aid in promoting and funding this project, we can realize all of these goals and have tremendous impact. We can cycle into a brighter, greener future for Lesotho, for all of Africa- all we need is a little push.