Wesley College boys recycle bikes for Africa

: L-R: Harrison Sutherland (16) of Merredin, Ike Sutherland (15) of Varley, Harrison Beeck (16) of Gnowangerup and Marcus Varone (15) of Hyden. Picture: David Baylis
: L-R: Harrison Sutherland (16) of Merredin, Ike Sutherland (15) of Varley, Harrison Beeck (16) of Gnowangerup and Marcus Varone (15) of Hyden. Picture: David Baylis

SALVAGING old bikes to send to families in Africa has become a scheduled activity for a group of teenage boys involved with the Wesley Bike Rescue Initiative at Wesley College.

Bicycles for Humanity WA is a not-for-profit organisation focused on sending donated bikes to the world’s poorest regions, including Uganda last year.

Wesley College economics teacher Declan Hanley said he heard about Bicycles for Humanity from some friends over a year ago and started the initiative a month ago.

“When they told us what they do and we saw all these bikes on the verge that could be donated to this charity for Africa, I thought ‘let’s do this, it’s too easy’,” he said.

Mr Hanley said 35 Year 10 boys have given an hour of their time a week and fixed 22 bicycles in the first two sessions.

“That’s what we got done in three weeks, imagine if we did this ongoing, how many bikes could we do in a year,” he said

“This is just the start, in the future we don’t know how many of them would continue to be involved or if there’s going to be a club set up next year to run all year.”

The fixed bicycles will be sent to Bicycles for Humanity to fill up their shipping container and delivered to their decided location in Africa.

Mr Hanley said they were making a small difference but access to education and clean water was important to breaking the poverty cycle.

“I think we do understand that it’s quite small, what we’re doing but we’re doing something,” he said.

“They might actually travel an hour to a well to get clean water and with a bike, one person can do 10 trips in one hour.

“Hopefully down the track, the boys will continue or have a different attitude towards throwing their own stuff out or what they can do for others for the benefit of some of the poorest people on earth.”

Wesley Bike Rescue Initiative accepts donations of old bikes and Bicycles for Humanity holds workshops behind Jack Williamson Oval in Middle Swan.