Most of us can remember being given our first bicycle – often from under the Christmas tree!
Once graduating from training wheels, mum or dad would hold the seat and push you along as you gained more and more confidence. Suddenly, you look back and realise you’re on your own. You’ve mastered riding a bike! Maybe your own children, grandchildren or nieces/nephews are hoping for a new bike this Christmas? They won’t be the only ones.
Communities in Zambia have asked for bikes for their volunteer health workers. For £54, a bike can be bought for them through the World Vision Alternative Gifts scheme.
These health workers won’t be the first to benefit from a bike from World Vision Alternative Gifts. Antonia Tchilombo from Angola received her own bike last year. Antonia, 33 years old, is a female health worker in the Huambo Province of Angola, Southern Africa. Huambo Province is home to a huge population of people, many who were displaced by the 27-year civil war, which ended in 2002. World Vision is working with local communities there to improve the health of families, particularly children under 5 years of age.
Bikes are making a life-changing difference. Thanks to those who have given bicycles through World Vision Alternative Gifts, fifty bikes were purchased for health workers and traditional birth attendants to be able to reach remote villages. These individuals are all local volunteers and are chosen by their communities. This means they are the best people to educate and raise awareness of health problems as they are well respected and understand their communities’ needs.
After receiving her bike, Antonia said, “I thank World Vision for the provision of this bicycle. It will help me reach many more families and bring about a change in the health of our communities. I like being able to meet new people and gain new experiences, and at the same time help make people’s lives better in my community.”
According to World Vision staff on the ground, Antonia is hard working and committed to her job help people who do not know how to prevent diseases in their communities. Just in the last year, there was a cholera epidemic in the region and she taught people how to recognise the symptoms of cholera and how to prevent it spreading.