Jan 30, 2013, 11:16 AM
Jole Rider's latest shipment of bicycles has arrived safely in seven schools across the country.
Kerewan, Njawara and Tahir schools took delivery of 101 bicycles each, and all of them serve in the remote areas of central and eastern regions of The Gambia, where a high proportion of pupils trek several kilometres to attend classes.
The remaining 80 bicycles were shared equally among Pakalinding, Nyorojataba, Kalagi and Mayork schools in recognition of the exemplary way they had maintained previous batches of Jole bikes.
Jole Rider's bike station in Gunjur, western
The deputy officer for education services, Alhagi Bah, joined principals from all seven schools, several members of Jole Rider's staff and a number of honoured guests.
"These bicycles will increase school attendance just as previous consignments have in other Gambian schools," Mr Bah said.
Jole Rider's Director Boyo Touray assured him that this was just the beginning of the organisation's commitment to supporting Gambian education, noting that a number of other projects were in the pipeline.
The 383 bicycles were donated to Jole Rider's by families and individuals across the UK, and then reconditioned by inmates at Swasea, Cardiff, Gloucester, Wellingborough, Liverpool, Risley and Dover prisons and loaded into a shipping container by Jole volunteers. They were shipped to The Gambia by DHL and delivered to the Gunjur bike station for final preparation.
"We owe a massive debt of gratitude to everyone who helped us at every stage," says Mr. Touray, adding that "without all of them this amazing logistical feat could not have happened."
The next shipment of bicycles and learning materials was loaded in