It was two months ago to the day that I flew 15 hours from Vancouver, to London, then Accra, Ghana in order to take part in the delivery of over 4,000 bicycles with Cadbury.
Following a successful virtual campaign called “The Bicycle Factory“, these real bikes were delivered to rural villages in Ghana thanks to the online participation of Canadians.
I was along for the ride to meet village officials, school children, Fair Trade union operators, and workers with organization such as Care International. To say that it was eye-opening is an understatement and I believe the depth of my experience still hasn’t hit me.
Along with Darius Bashar of Toronto, Cadbury representatives, Bicycle Factory contest winners, and the band “San Sebastian“, I took part in bicycle dedication ceremonies. I hung out with enthusiastic children who, thanks to Fair Trade and partner organizations, can focus on their school work and their futures, above all else.
Cadbury is currently running a campaign on Facebook where they’re trading “Likes for Bikes“. For every “Like” they get, they’ll put together a new bike part. 100 bike parts equals a bike that will be built and once again sent to a student in Ghana.
Why bikes? Some school children (from very young ages) walk 5-10 kilometers a day on a dirt road to get to school. Bikes allow them to get supplies and water for their families, travel beyond their villages, and simply get an education.
Parents and village leaders emphasized that while cocoa drives their economy and gives them jobs, the children must be in school. With Easter coming up and chocolate being on the minds of many, you have the chance to give back to the source and support these communities by giving them your “Likes for Bikes“.
Read all of my posts that were published from Africa and my photos are on Flickr although more will be added next week when The Bicycle Factory opens up once again.
Disclosure: I was not paid to take part in The Bicycle Factory or to supply any of its coverage. Cadbury did cover my travel to Ghana. All photos were taken with the permission of the village officials, parents, and teachers.