The Rotary School Bikes Africa Project has landed a grant of €10,000 from Kilkenny County Council through the Anti-Dumping Initiative Fund.
Working closely with Kilkenny County Council, Kilkenny Rotary launched its School Bikes Africa campaign before Christmas last.
To date, almost 200 bicycles have been collected and sent for refurbishment, prior to being despatched to school children in The Gambia.
Eamonn Morrissey, from the Council’s Environment Department, who represented Kilkenny County Council, said: “The council is very pleased to be involved in this project with Kilkenny Rotary Club.
“As a result of this partnership, we applied for funding from the national Anti-Dumping Initiative Fund 2019 to cover the cost of approximately 600 bikes to be repaired and shipped to The Gambia.
This level of financial assistance will ensure that an extra two container loads will go to The Gambia this year.”
“The funding has been approved, and we hope to take this example to a national level with other Local Authorities and Rotary clubs throughout Ireland.”
President Jason Dempsey said: “This project is a perfect example of how you can get things done by working with willing partners, such as Kilkenny County Council, the Army Personnel from James Stephens’ Barracks and the staff at Dunmore Recycling Centre.
“This level of financial assistance is fantastic and will ensure that an extra two container loads will go to The Gambia this year to the school children over there.”
To date, almost 200 bicycles have been collected and sent for refurbishment.”
Kilkenny citizens have been encouraged to drop off their unwanted bicycles at the Dunmore Recycling Centre where they are stored until soldiers from the local James Stephens’ Barracks deliver them to Loughan House Open Prison in County Cavan.
There the bikes are refurbished before their onward journey to The Gambia, where children use them to shorten their journeys to school every day.