Tag Archive: Gambia

Pedal Power, Bradford Gran to deliver hundreds of bikes to Africa

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A Bradford resident says she is on a ‘mission’ to help thousands of children in one of Africa’s poorest countries by delivering hundreds of bicycles to the Gambia.

Razia Amini, from Heaton, will send off more than 100 bikes next month as part of her work with the charity, Humanity First.

GIVING: Razia Amini has spent her own money purchasing many of the items, including bikes, which will be shipped off to the Gambia next month

GIVING: Razia Amini has spent her own money purchasing many of the items, including bikes, which will be shipped off to the Gambia next month

By collecting bikes through donations, eBay and other bargaining methods, Razia will be shipping the goods, alongside thousands of other items, in a few weeks. She will then, alongside three other women from Humanity First, visit the country and help deliver the items over ten days.

The giving grandmother last visited the African nation 12 months ago and says she saw children being forced to walk miles every day just to get to school in some areas.

From that day, she decided that the best way to help the children would be to make the journey from home to school ‘as easy as it could be’.

“When I went there last year I knew what to expect really with it being a poor country, but there were certain places which were a bit sadder than I had thought,” Razia explained.

“I went to a school which was in the centre of this village and I thought we were lost because it was that far away from homes. I asked ‘where do the children come from?’ and was told they come from miles and miles away just to get here.

“Then it clicked for me that when I go back this year, I have to take bikes with me.”

STORAGE: Razia stores many of the goods in her own home, which has been taken over in parts by the collection, and is continuing to look for bargains before shipping

STORAGE: Razia stores many of the goods in her own home, which has been taken over in parts by the collection, and is continuing to look for bargains before shipping

Razia has helped deliver thousands of goods in her previous visit, with items ranging from clothes, to stationery and even laptops, much of which was bought with her own money.

A self-proclaimed ‘bargain shopper’, the Humanitarian First North-East representative, raised more than £10,000 over the past 12 months through fundraising events. This money has helped fund much of the items which will be shipped, yet there is still more work to go.

“I have picked up so much stuff this year that we will be able to give even more items to the people of the Gambia,” she said.

“We live this life of luxury over here and then people over there struggle to get even the basics so I see it as an obvious thing to help with.

“I feel very lucky to be able to see first-hand, the work we do in the Gambia and am very grateful to everybody who has helped me in collecting so many wonderful things.”

COLLECTION: Razia has picked up thousands of items over the past 12 months, from shoes to clothes, and stationery to cutlery

COLLECTION: Razia has picked up thousands of items over the past 12 months, from shoes to clothes, and stationery to cutlery

Razia will be sending off the crate load of goods in a few weeks yet still welcomes donations from anyone who wishes to help out.

In particular, bikes, sewing machines and laptops, are being asked for, as well as unworn clothing. Contact Razia on razia.amini@hotmail.co.uk to find out how to get involved in the project.

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All’s well in the Gambia

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ART ATTACK: Belle Vue Girls students show off their art which was auctioned off earlier this week to raise money for a water well at a Gambia school.

ART ATTACK: Belle Vue Girls students show off their art which was auctioned off earlier this week to raise money for a water well at a Gambia school.

Ten teenagers from a local girl’s school in Bradford will embark on a journey like never before next year as they travel to Africa to provide educatory aid to the children of Gambia.

Students from Belle Vue Girl’s School Years 10, 11 and 13, were selected to visit the country in February 2014 to help teach Maths and English as well as gaining firsthand experience of the culture of the impoverished area.

More than 50 students had initially applied to partake in the pioneering trip, having to write a letter stating why they would be best suited, with the final ten selected by staff.

Through fundraising efforts, the group has already raised more than £3,000 for the construction of a new water well at the Ndungu Kebbeh School, and hosted their latest event on Thursday 28th November.

A unique art show and dinner were held at the school, whereby paintings by the students were auctioned off to the highest bidder in hope of raising vital funds for the trip. All catering was kindly donated by Lahore restaurant free of charge.

Alisha Mahmood is the Ambassador for Belle Vue and has been involved with all the fundraising efforts held to date, including car washes and fashion shows.

Speaking on behalf of the group, the Year 13 pupil said: “We are all very excited about the trip now as it is less than three months away.

“It will be something completely new because no students from our school have been to the Gambia before; we have been interacting with their students through things like pen pals but none of us have actually gone.”

Alisha explained what the group will be doing upon their arrival at the location adding: “For the first two days we are going to actually be staying at the school, so we are going to be sleeping on mattresses on the floor with mosquito nets.

“During this time we will get the opportunity to talk to the children and help them with their English and maths skills which will be really rewarding. Teachers from Belle Vue will also be teaching the pupils about health and helping with the running of the school.”

Mrs Tess Wilkins, assistant head teacher at Belle Vue Girl’s School, has already visited the Gambian school twice in the past and explained how the girls will receive more than just a culture shock.

“They will be amazed by how friendly the people in the Gambia are and, at the same time, by how impoverished a lot of the poorer areas are,” she said.

“There are children whose only clothing is their school uniform whilst a big bag of rice may be all a family eats for a whole month.”

She added: “I remember my first time visiting the country and I had these preconceived ideas that people would object to all the British people landing in the country but they said it is a necessity for the success of the country – they depend on it for their livelihoods and therefore welcome everybody.

“The country itself is absolutely beautiful and I cannot wait to return with the girls.”

The team of ten girls includes: From Year 13, Sabah Ishaq, Alisha Mahmood, Rahyka Pasha and Serish Tanya Hussain; from Year 11, Vanesa Nemetora; from Year 10, Faizah Parveen, Samreena Khalid, Annam Ramzan and Ayshah Mahmood.

If you would like to donate any money towards the construction of the water well, please contact Mrs Tess Wilkins, on 01274 492 341.

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