Dubai: Mark Cavendish puts up his palm every time he crosses the finish line. It’s not just any signature move. It’s a pledge. His team, Team Dimension Data, ride to raise funds for the Qhubeka Charity to mobilise people on bicycles, in Africa.
Michelle Buys Du Plessis, Managing Director of Dimension Data, UAE, told Gulf News: “Everytime the team rides, it’s not just to win, it is to donate bikes to children in Africa. Bicycle change lives, it changes the way these people get to go to school or to hospitals.”
Qhubeka is a Nguini word that means to progress. The charity helps move people forward with bicycles.
The project does not just hand out bicycles however; children have to earn these bikes through programmes implemented in South African communities.
School children earn the bikes by committing to improve their school attendance, adults earn them through work-to-earn programmes that range from growing trees to recycling waste and making crafts.
Plessis added: “ I am hoping they go over the line at Dubai Tour and raise that hand, to donate the bike.”
The team aims to donate 5,000 bikes to the charity. So far Qhubeka has donated 80,000 bikes to people in Africa. The world tour cycling team based in South Africa was founded in 2007. Today they are in the UAE to participate in the Dubai Tour and Abu Dhabi Tour.
You can also help:
Head to the Dimension Data stand at Skydive Dubai and join the pledge by getting on the bicycle. Together, the visitors need to complete 167 kilometres on the two stationary bikes placed at the kiosk. At the end of this, five bikes will be donated to Qhubeka.