Disadvantaged school children in Myanmar are set to benefot from the generosity of Southern Highlands residents with the imminent arrival of a shipping container of refurbished bicycles.
Wingecarribee Shire mayor Duncan Gair was on-site at the Resource Recovery Centre to help volunteers from Bikes 4 Life close the door on the shipping container packed with hundreds of bikes.
“This container is the culmination of a year’s work from the volunteers from Bikes 4 Life,” Cr Gair said.
“It’s actually the second container load the team have restored this year and sixth total to be shipped from council’s Resource Recovery Centre,” he said.
On arrival in Myanmar, the container will be transported to a local school established by Australian charity, Hark Angel.
The charity works with local communities in developing countries in building schools and helping children receive an education.
Cr Gair said that in addition to helping the less fortunate, the volunteers had saved hundreds of bicycles from being scrapped or crushed.
“It’s a truly wonderful effort and one that council is extremely proud to be involved with.”
Formerly known as Bicycles for Change, Bikes 4 Life is an Australian not-for-profit organisation whose purpose is to recycle bikes to provide to overseas communities in need.
The local branch works out of the Resource Recovery Centre in Moss Vale.
Bikes 4 Life volunteer Hans Radowitz said bikes had previously been shipped to villages in Africa where they were used to assist health care and education workers cover long distances which would normally be travelled by foot.
“This shipping container load of bikes in particular is out first to be sent to Myanmar and will be used by children to travel to and from school,” Mr Radowitz said.
“Even the containers are beneficially re-used and converted into bicycle repair shops once they arrive at their destination,” he said.
Since starting in 2010, Mr Radowitz and his fellow volunteers estimated they had restored around 2500 bicycles that had been donated from across the Wingecarribee Shire.
“I reckon I’ve repaired just about every make and model of bicycle there is, but it’s the generosity of our shire’s residents that still surprises us,” he said.
“The amount of bikes donated to the Southern Highlands branch is amongst the highest in the country.”
Mr Radowitz said as soon as the latest container left the premises a new one would take its place.
“We’re not resting on our laurels and plans are already in place to fill another council-sponsered container.”
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