The Cadbury Bicycle Factory is now open for 2011. This online, virtual bike factory swaps your Cadbury product codes for bike parts that translate into real bikes being built and sent over to students in Ghana, which I got to be a part of earlier this year.
The Bicycle Factory Steps:
Find the product code (under the bar code) on your Cadbury product, anything from Dentyne and Trident, to Sour Patch Kids, Halls, and Caramilk chocolate bars. Fair Trade Dairy Milk codes are worth double.
Go to TheBicycleFactory.ca and enter your code.
Fill in as much information as you like. You can also enter to win a trip to Africa for the next bicycle delivery (there were contest winners on the trip when I went as well, they were also treated to a safari adventure after the bicycle deliveries).
Each code = a bike part. 100 bike parts = a brand new bike sent to Ghana.
The goal this year is to once again deliver 5,000 bikes to school children in rural Ghana. Why bikes? Being mobile allows children to get to school daily (some that I met walked several kilometers each way) and venture outside their villages for other needs.
The Cadbury Cocoa Partnership communities we visited in February were supported by Care International and World Vision. Bike recipients were given tools, trained on how to use them, how to ride, and how to maintain them thanks to the Village Bicycle Project.
I saw first-hand what the fair trade cocoa industry means to these communities. I heard mothers say their top priority is to ensure their children get an education. I watched as co-op members danced and smiled, wearing their Kuapa Kokoo union uniforms. If you’re going to chew gum or snack on a chocolate bar, why not do something to give back to its source before you toss the wrapper away.
Pertaining to Vancouver specifically, I am organizing an event in support of The Bicycle Factory as a part of Velopalooza, happening around town June 2-9, 2011. Details will follow in the coming weeks. This month you can also watch episodes of a Much Music mini-series with the band San Sebastian that was filmed on the trip in February.