January 31, 2007

310 Catholic AIDS Action volunteers on bikes in Oshana and Omusati

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The ceremony took place at CAA Okatana office.  Attended the ceremony: Hon. Lotto Kuushomwa- Oshakati East Constituency Representing Klemens Kashuupulwa, Governor of Oshana; Hon. Selvelius Ekandjo- Ongwediva Constituency; Hon. Henock yaKasita- Okaku Constituency; Mrs. Amupolo- Uukwambi Traditional Authority; Mike Saxby- Axiz Southern Africa; Madelein Hough- Axiz Namibia; Ms. Jurtha Shivute- TKMOAMS; Ms. Diana Iiyambo- Red Cross Society; Mr. Jeremia Shetunyenga- Lironga Eparu; Mr. Godwin Chisenga- CAA National Office; Mr. Efraim Iipinge- CAA Regional Office; Fr. Lukas Mosemedi- Okatana Roman Catholic Mission.

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Mike Saxby from Axiz Southern Africa, and Madelein Hough from Axiz Namibia handed over the bicycles and helmets for volunteers working with home-based care, youth education programme, and members of HIV/AIDS support groups. Axiz sponsored the bicycles, helmets and shipping, to the value of N$ 290,000.

The Bicycling Empowerment Network Namibia (BEN Namibia) handled logistics for the donation and trained a group of 20 bicycle mechanics from CAA to help maintain the bikes. Trainees received tools, manuals and hands-on experience as they assembled the 310 bicycles. The bicycles were “California Bikes”, designed and distributed by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) in partnership with TREK Bicycles.

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Throughout the week, BEN Namibia also conducted awareness sessions with all the volunteers in order to discuss the bicycles’ impact for their work and for their clients. CAA’s volunteers face daily constraints to their work because of limited transport, walking long distances to see their clients.

With bicycles, the volunteers help their clients to overcome social and geographic isolation. It will help them to provide HIV positive people a more dignified, happy and positive life.

Top: Volunteers from Oshana and Omusati regions trained in bicycle mechanics.

Middle: Hon. Lotto Kuushomwa- Oshakati East Constituency Representing Klemens Kashuupulwa, Governor of Oshana, and Mike Saxby- Axiz, handing over bicycles and helmets to volunteers from CAA.

Bottom: Bicycles delivered to volunteers.

About Catholic AIDS Action
CAA is Namibia’s largest NGO’s responding to HIV/AIDS in the country. Through an extensive network of community volunteers distributed in 14 offices, CAA provides quality home-based care to registered clients who are HIV positive, including physical and psychosocial support to them, their caregivers, and family members. For more information about CAA, visit https://www.caa.org.na.

About Axiz and the Qhubeka programme
Axiz is an IT infrastructure distributor based in South Africa and with regional offices in Namibia, Botswana and Zambia. In 2005, Axiz registered its Qhubeka project as a Section 21 not-for-gain organisation to create a means of providing much-needed socio-economic development support to disadvantaged communities in Southern Africa. For more information about Qhubeka, visit https://www.qhubeka.com.

About BEN Namibia
BEN Namibia is a non-profit organisation that aims to empower disadvantaged Namibians through provision of sustainable transport and bicycle-related income generation opportunities. BEN Namibia has already arranged the distribution of around 1,500 bicycles to home-based care volunteers and has partnerships with more than 22 different Namibian grassroots organisations.

For more information please contact Clarisse Cunha, Project Coordinator:
Ph: +264 61 250 200 Fax: +264 61 225 006 Cell: 081 308 2910
Email: clarisse@benbikes.org.za


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