Paving the way to education with rural bicycle donation

Medipost Holdings and Bikes4ERP

Media release

 Paving the way to education with rural bicycle donation

Getting to school is fundamental to children’s futures

 Thursday 13 July 2022, School pupils in a rural community will receive quality mountain bikes to help make their educational journey a little easier with a donation made possible by Medipost Holdings corporate social investment with non-profit organisation Bikes4ERP.

“Every step on the path to education is hard won, and children who have to walk long distances to school face an enormous barrier to bettering their prospects for the future,” says Noel Guliwe, chief executive officer of Kawari Wholesaler and Distributor and the Medipost Holdings Group.

The recent Statistics South Africa National Household Travel Survey Provincial North West Profile found that out of 690 000 learners in the province who walk to an educational institution, more than half are from rural areas. The publication, released in March 2022, revealed that unaffordability of public transport and lack of available transport are among the reasons many children walk to school.

“Children who face these obstacles often have to leave home extremely early, arriving at school exhausted before the school day has even begun and are therefore often unable to concentrate,” adds Nora Tager, executive director of the Peace Foundation, which operates Bikes4ERP. The initiative aims to uplift communities and protect wildlife by making education more accessible in rural areas.

“This daily struggle of long hours travelling to and from school makes it so much harder for children to get the most out of education, and often leads to absenteeism and children ultimately dropping out of school altogether. Without the opportunities schooling brings, the cycle of poverty continues.”

In recent years, Medipost Holdings has taken the pupils of Olefile Secondary School in Pitsedisulejang into its heart. The Group, comprising Medipost Pharmacy, Kawari Wholesalers, MediLogistics and MediTraining Academy, today announced it is donating R300000 worth of hard-wearing bicycles to pupils as the latest in a series of corporate social investment and outreach initiatives with the school in rural North West.

Walking long distances to school threatens children’s ability to concentrate and perform at their best. Medipost Holdings and Bikes4ERP have teamed up to donate 100 hard-wearing mountain bikes to help children get to school. The community chose the beneficiaries, who are boys and girls of Olefile Secondary School in Pitsedisulejang, North West. Schools that have previously received bicycles have noted a marked increase in attendance, and improvement in learners’ marks and school pass rates.

“Accessibility of education and health are crucial to a more equal and prosperous South Africa. The child who is unable to continue their education because of difficulties getting to school could have the potential to be a job-creating entrepreneur, the next Charlotte Maxeke, or a pioneering doctor destined to save lives,” Guliwe says.

“In the context of youth unemployment, staying in school offers today’s children fundamental preparation for entering the job market. We hope that the gift of these bicycles will help to keep children motivated as another step towards pursuing their dreams, and the opportunities education brings.”

Tager explains that the local Barokologadi community are requested, through the tribal council led by Chief Kgosi Thari Maotoe, to identify learners who are living far away from the Olefile Secondary School. The recipients are boys and girls from Grade 8 to 11, aged between 13 and 18.

“These single speed bicycles are specially equipped to be durable and low maintenance, with an amplified angle and cable brakes, with no gears or tubes. The children will also receive helmets and bicycle safety information to ensure their safety,” she says.

“Schools that have previously received bicycles have noted a marked increase in attendance, and improvement in learners’ marks up to 15%, increasing the pass rate to 90% in some instances. Thank you Kawari and Medipost Holdings for partnering with Bikes4ERP to help make such a difference in these young lives,” Tager says.

Within the Medipost Holdings Group’s continuum of care model, Kawari specialises in wholesaling, distribution and warehousing of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, medical consumables, and other niche products.

Situated in Midrand, Gauteng, and Parow, Cape Town, the company’s national distribution network ensures secure and reliable warehousing and distribution of pharmaceuticals. Technologically advanced warehousing and systems ensure that the products it supplies, stores, and distributes on behalf of clients are maintained and delivered in optimal condition.

“We are grateful forthe opportunity to assist the learners with their educational progress in this way. It is hoped that these bicycles will be a gift that keeps on giving. When the bicycle recipients complete matric, they will hand their bikes over to the school to assist other learners in need,” Guliwe says.

“We look forward to sharing further details of this initiativeand photographs from the handover event.”

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Issued by:           Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Medipost Holdings

Contact:               Martina Nicholson, Meggan Saville and Estene Lotriet-Vorster

Telephone:     (011) 469 3016

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