Ocean View Bicycle Initiative Collaboration
Communities Wellness Solutions is based in Ocean View, South Peninsula, South Africa. This bicycle initiative was started by Jimmy James. Initially it was only a few children that Jimmy took out for fun rides but as the years passed, it started evolving into an after school and holidays program where over 30 children per day come to ride bikes on BMX track and surrounding areas, spend rainy days undercover drawing and playing, learning bike mechanical skills and whenever possible get healthy food before going home for the day.
This daily initiative has become so popular amongst children, between ages 4 to 18 years, that there is a list of about 500, on rotation system to try give an opportunity to as many children as possible. At the moment the need has outgrown the infrastructure that is in place and since March 2020 COVID-19, Communities Wellness Solutions has come across few extra challenges.
Here are few possibilities if you wish to support this initiative:
- bicycles – bikes can be donated directly to the initiative
- books – educational, ages 4-18
- writing pads
- stationary – pens, pencils, crayons, sharpeners, rulers, calculators
- funding for ongoing meals
- funding or materials to finish the structure of the container where the children spend the rainy days – carpets, windows, door, chairs, tables
Two years ago after a major surgery, I set a goal: learn to walk and use the recovery time to raise funds for Ocean View bicycles. This journey, as life itself, brought on challenges but together through the collaboration with Communities Wellness Solutions, Qhubeka and the support from my husband, my family and friends I managed to learn to walk again, cycle 109km Cape Town Cycle Tour 2020 and raise funds for the bicycles. In this process new friendships have formed, my understanding of different cultures is expanding, I am learning daily to appreciate that everyone as an individual being , no matter how small or old, has dreams, goals, visions and something to teach each other. I am learning how much basic necessities such as healthy food, shelter from the weather, compassion from people that are in our lives, make a difference if those dreams and goals will ever be within reach. I am learning that initiatives like Communities Wellness Solutions and Ocean View Organic Farmers should never be underestimated because of the important role they play in the lives of youth and are a stepping stone to growing their confidence and open the opportunities for some human beings to try reach for their visions.
Today I was overwhelmed with emotions as the day arrived for the children to receive the bicycles. It was cold and raining but we all had a smile on our faces. Jimmy and the children were already in the classroom when I arrived. I walked into the room that was quite and full of children sitting on boxes, tires, chairs and those who had nowhere to sit improvised by using the walls and friends backs to support the writing pads. A few days ago I managed to organise masks through Kommetjie CAN, as part of the #10 million masks to help out the children. Jimmy and the older kids handed them out just in time as the rainy clouds gathered and Ian Mills from Qhubeka and Zane Van Aarde from Pedal power Association (PPA) drove in with the new bicycles.
As a photographer it is my natural instinct to observe, record and share. With this article I would like to share with you the day we all had, the upliftment of giving and receiving and the joy the children feel when having a care free, safe environment to interact, learn and play.
This day would not have been possible without the collaboration between the NGOs, Communities Wellness Solution, all your donations and most importantly the children’s natural desire for knowledge, to learn and enjoy life to best of their abilities despite all the challenges. Children will always try belong and this is why initiatives like Communities Wellness Solutions make a difference by showing the support to guide them into a healthy lifestyle.
Thank you for the support from us all!
I hope you enjoyed this happy story and if you feel inspired to donate or do some fundraising yourself here are few links:
Thank you Jimmy James, Communities Wellness Solutions, Ian Mills, Qhubeka, Zane Van Aarde, Pedal Power Association, Bicycle Empowerment Network , Cape Epic and #10 Million Masks for collaboration in bringing bicycles to the children. A big thank you to all the children for sharing this happy day and participating with Love & Rockets photoshoot!
Article: Kristina Stojiljkovic
Photography: Kristina Stojiljkovic