Volkswagen has demonstrated that as the maker of ‘the people’s cars’, it is putting the people at the heart of what it does, thus making the German automaker passionate about South Africans and playing a vital role in moving the people forward. It has therefore collaborated with Qhubeka and City of Jo’burg to mobilise South African youth for a better future.
Under the banner of ‘Volkswagen for Good’, Volkswagen said it seeks to provide motion with meaning to South Africa and the sponsorship of the Bicycle Education Empowerment Programme (BEEP) or ‘Blue Bikes’ project is one such example. Now in the third year of partnership, Volkswagen South Africa and Qhubeka (meaning to “progress” or “move forward”) continue to transform hope into reality with the simple gift of motion.
In rural South Africa, the youth may be in need of numerous commodities, but one thing they do not lack is ambition and hope. They know who, what and where they want to be. As South Africans dream, what the youth do need is a little help in reaching their dreams. Volkswagen said the Blue Bikes is the first step in fulfilling this need, stressing it believes that education is the foundation for their future and that a child’s learning should not be hindered by their lack of mobility.
With 11 million of SA’s 17 million school children still walking to school, taking some of them up to four hours a day to travel to and from school, the need for transport is palpable. Over the past three years, Volkswagen, in partnership with Qhubeka, has donated almost 3,000 Blue Bikes to children across South Africa to give them the priceless gift of time. Volkswagen said it believes that less time traveling to school means more time to learn, more time to play, more time with family and simply, and probably most powerful, the time to just be a child.
This year, Volkswagen, together with Qhubeka, have committed once more to help mobilise the youth for a better future and have committed to distributing a total of 1 100 bicycles in 2017. The project was brought to Gauteng recently, where 98 bicycles were donated to children at Kwa-Bhekilanga Secondary School and East Bank High School, health workers and community policing forum (CPF) volunteers. The bicycles have been funded through a Rand-for-Rand matching mechanism whereby City of Johannesburg has matched the funds raised by Volkswagen South Africa.
“Volkswagen’s vision is to provide sustainable mobility for Africa by way of German engineering and this programme fits in with that philosophy and shows our human side,” said Thomas Schaefer, Chairman and Managing Director of Volkswagen Group South Africa.
“We also hope that through having been beneficiaries of a bicycle, that this will leave a lasting impression in the minds of a handful of young South Africans and hopefully inspire more to dream big,” added Schaefer.