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.
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.”
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.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to get involved in the project.