Bicycles help put students on right track

ON THE RIGHT TRACK: Quintus Moolman of Dimension Data, left, hands over bicycles to Jim McKeown of Masinyusane. On the Bicycles are Masinyusane NMMU students, from left, Nolusindiso Mdodana, Sisipho Makwetu and Tumelo Lungile
Picture: MARK WEST

A tech company played a valuable role in breaking the cycle of poverty last week when it donated 10 Qhubeka bicycles to Port Elizabeth student assistance organisation Masinyusane House of Excellence.

Masinyusane House is a non-profit organisation that assists the Bay’s brightest, but most impoverished, youths to complete university qualifications.

The bicycles were handed over by the Bay subsidiary of digital firm Dimension Data.

Masinyusane is centred around a Summerstrand house, where the students not only live for free, but also enjoy access to a range of other amenities and assistance towards the successful completion of their studies.

The organisation also supports a number of students who live in the vicinity of, and attend, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s (NMMU) Missionvale campus.

The bicycles have been provided to assist students with one of their biggest challenges – transport to both NMMU’s Summerstrand and Missionvale campuses.

The bicycles were handed to Jim McKeown, who is Masinyusane’s executive director, and students at Masinyusane House on Friday.

Qhubeka, which produces robust bicycles built for African conditions, is a non-profit organisation that helps disadvantaged people progress by giving bicycles in return for work done to improve communities, the environment, or academic results.

They are World Bicycle Relief’s programme in South Africa, mobilising and strengthening disadvantaged communities and people through education and economic opportunity.

Masinyusane in turn boasts an exceptional track record with students at the house having averaged a 95% pass rate between 2014 and last year.

Father Jerry Browne, the chairman of the Masinyusane Board, said the bicycles would be used by students to access the university’s campuses.

“We support 280 students over four years. Transport is a great challenge for students and particularly for students living in townships, where not much support is available to them,” Browne said.

“We have raised lots of money just for transport for students, so it is really a big challenge.

“We are therefore very grateful to Dimension Data for their contribution. A huge thank you to them.

“This will certainly help our students and improve their mobility.”

Dimension Data events and public relations coordinator Natalia Adams said: “We believe in the tag line Bicycles Change Lives.

“As a branch, we were able to secure 10 bicycles, a small quantity for now, which we have handed over to Masinyusane.”

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