Ghana Beneficiaries

Alex from Bodaa

ALex

Alex is from Bodaa, Ghana, on the western border with the Ivory Coast.  The soil is good, and most people in this town of about a thousand souls are farmers.  This means that the community is spread out, and people walk to get any place, spending valuable time.

Alex is a 43-year-old cocoa farmer. His farm is about 8 km out of town and he used to have to walk that distance and back, often daily.  Now, he can ride his bicycle, saving 2-3 hours every day.  When available, his wife sometimes rides the bicycle to the farm as well.  Owning and using a bike saves the family time and energy, and makes life a lot more productive.

Kwaku from Kandiga

 

Kwaku

Kwaku is 12 years old and lives in Kandiga, a village in rural northern Ghana.  Kwaku helps on his family's farm and cares for their animals. Kwaku uses his bike to go to the farm (5 miles away) and to the market (.5 miles away).

Kwaku told the Village Bicycle Project this about his life, "In the morning, I feed animals at home. I use ground millet and flour. I go to the Kandiga market every day to buy this. Next thing to do is I fetch water for the animales from the borehole near the market. I use the bicycle to fetch food and water for the animals. When the animals go far away, I retrieve them with the bicycle. When it is the season for farming, I use the bicycle to go to farm."

VPB Awinbeda

Awinbeda

Awinbeda is a student.  She says, "I will use the bicycle to go to school and after school the bicycle will be used to go to the farm.  The bicycle helps me because I can get to farm early, and I can get home quickly to do my school work.  It is good to go to farm early because it would take hours to walk there otherwise, and now I have time to do more to help my family.  The bicycle gives me time for homework and helps me to get good marks in school, too."

 

Hamza

Hamza

Hamza is a farmer from the village of Dupari, located in the upper west region of Ghana.  Most people in Dupari are farmers who grow yams, corn, peanuts, millet, and sorghum. They take their produce to sell in the market towns of Bulenga and Chaggo. There is no public transportation between Dupari and either of these destinations, so like most people, Hamza walks the three miles each way, carrying his produce.  He also usually walks the seven miles to his farm, five or six days a week.  

Now that Hamza can ride his bike, he saves a substantial amount of time each day.  He can also carry heavy loads more easily and not be as tired after the journey.  Owning a bike will make life for Hamza much easier, so he can be more productive and increase his income.

Ayuayam in Kandiga

Ayuayam

Ayuayam lives in Kandiga, a village in rural northern Ghana.  She is a farmer and in addition sells cooked food at the local market.  She will use her bike to go to her farm (2 miles away) and to the larger towns in her area, which are between 5 and 11 miles away.  Her son will also use the bike to travel to school.

Owning a bike allows Ayuayam to ride to the markets where she buys her ingredients instead of walking and carrying her purchases home on her head.  In the larger town, she is able to buy goods not available in her town, and with the bike she can arrive earlier at the market to buy what she wants before it sells out.

Ayuayam says, "Now we are free to go where we want when we want!  We can go to another town for church or to attend a funeral."

Aposeyimne

Aposeyimne

Children in rural Africa have many morning chores, like feeding animals, hauling water, and helping in other ways. The teachers are very strict, and punish students who arrive late.  Owning a bike allows students to get their chores done and still arrive to school on time.  It also allows them to get home quickly and have more time for homework.

Aposeyimne lives in Kandiga, a village in rural northern Ghana. She uses her bike to get to the family farm and to the market several miles away.  Sometimes she lets her children ride the bicycle to school.

Aposeyimne's son says, "Now if I go to school I can get there early and I can go fast! Riding the bike is so much better than walking!"

Anyaabah

Anyaabah

Anyaabah lives in Kandiga, a village in rural northern Ghana. She uses her bike to go to town to run errands.  She can now carry goods back to her house on the bike, instead of carrying them on her head.  She can also carry more of the produce from her family farm to the market.  Owning a bike will save Anyaabah's family time and money, and help them all be more productive.

She is a homemaker, farmer, and community activist.  As a community activist it is important for Anyaabah to attend meetings. Anyaabah said, "The bicycle has helped us a lot because if I want to go to any place for a meeting, I can get there fast. The meetings help us live a better life, and I am happy I can go."

 

Ayoni Alogiyame

Ayoni Alogiyame

Ayoni Alogiyame lives in the village called Kandiga, in rural northern Ghana.  Ayoni uses her bicycle to get to her farm and to the market several miles away.  She aslo will use her bike to get to Bolga, which is 25 km away!

In Bolga, she will attend the women's community association meetings, which provide good information on taking care of their health, home and family.  She says, "The bicycle has helped us do things fast and to go and come back fast."

Owning a bike will save Ayoni many hours every week, and will help her be more productive and successful. Ayoni's son also hopes to use the bike from time to time to make his travels to school quicker.

Nyameyie

Nyameyie

Nyameyie is from Princesstown, Ghana, at the end of a wretched gravel road 18 kilometers from the main coastal highway. The road is so bad that taxis won't go there unless you pay 10 times the standard rate.  For several weeks during the rainy season, the road is washed out and the town is cut off entirely.

Nyameyie farms four miles from his home in Pricesstown. His bike will make it much easier to get to farm where he grows cassava, pineapple, and plantain. The surplus produce he sells at Princesstown market.  Without a bike, he carried his produce on his back while walking from farm to market.  Now that he has a bike, he plan to buy a carrier to make it easier to carry produce from the farm. 

Yakubu Sakara

Yakubu Sakara

Yakubu Sakara is a farmer in Konjiahi, Ghana.  His farm is seven miles from his house, so the bicycle he received from the Village Bicycle Project saves him a lot of time.  Without a bicycle he has to walk that distance, fourteen miles round trip, six days a week. He goes to his farm every day except Fridays, the Muslim day of prayer.

By riding instead of walking he saves at least two hours every day and he has more energy to get the farm work done.  Improved productivity helps his family get ahead.  Yakubu lets his neighbors use the bicycle to do errands, too, which makes everyone's lives easier.

Ibrahim

Ibrahim Mormori

Ibrahim Mormori is from Konjiahi, Ghana. He is 70 years old and still farming. cHis farm is four miles away from his home and his main method of transportation before owning a bike was walking.

Ibrahim finds the bicycle good for going to the farm because his knees hurt when he walked the eight mile round trip. Now that he rides a bike he feels fine after the commute. He received his bicycle the day this picture was taken and said the first thing he would do is get a rack so he can carry heavy loads to and from the farm. 

Suzana Guo

Suzana Guo

Bikes provide power and opportunity, allowing people to lift themselves from poverty.  Riding a bike is four times faster than walking, the only choice for millions of Africans.  People with bikes get to schools, markets, farms and health care in one-fourth of the time walking, improving their lives and economic futures.

Suzana Guo lives in Hain, northwest Ghana. She brews her own beer for the popular bar she runs out of her home.  She uses her bike to transport millet from her farm to the mill for grinding, and brings the ground millet back to her bar for brewing.  Suzana shares her bike with her family, providing everyone with transportation.

Fatmata

Fatama

Compared to males, many females in Africa never learn to ride a bike.  Women of all ages tend to be culturally excluded from riding for many reasons.  Learning to ride is a special gift, one that will stay with them.  Unfortunately, when bikes are given to girls, they are too often taken, and sometimes damaged, by the boys.

The Village Bicycle Project has addressed this problem by giving bikes to boys first in an effort to keep them from stealing girls' bikes.  They then give special attention to teaching young girls and women to ride, empowering them in a way like never before.

Fatama enjoys riding her bicycle.  She will always know how to ride, and no one can take that away.  When bikes come around in her life, to her brothers, neighbors, her husband...she'll ask to use it too, unstuck from the stereotype that bikes are not for girls.

 

Village Bicycle Project

All beneficiary stories and photos courtesy Village Bicycle Project