Dear Donors, friends and well wishers.
As we come to the end of the year 2010, it is Christmas time and we would like to extend our gratitude to all of you who have stood by us during this year both morally and financially. We also wish you a Merry Xmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year. May I take this opportunity once again to introduce to you the Bicycle Sponsorship Project and Workshop (BSPW), a non-governmental organization based in Njeru Town Council – Mukono District, Uganda. We are using the concept of bicycles in poverty reduction among low income families in rural and urban areas of Uganda. This year, we have provided services to families in eleven (11) districts, namely; Jinja, Iganga, Bugiri, Gulu, Mukono, Kayunga, Fortportal, Mbale, Kamuli, Mayuge and Buyende, a radius of 400km squared. During this year the following services have been provided to our communities:
A) Bicycle accessibility: 402 bicycles have been distributed during this year, 294 of which were sponsored or given on full donation while 55 were distributed on credit basis. We also sold off 1 Hoima bicycle. Of the 402 bicycles distributed, 15 were distributed to children/children’s orphanages, 48 to youths /youth organizations, 17 to a savings /credit organization, 25 to teachers, 46 to women, 83 to men, 112 to community based organizations, and 56 to HIV/AIDS Initiatives.
B) Monitoring and evaluation: BSPW established Project sub – committees in respect to each activity or interest of the specific groups of members with the sole purpose of helping to carry out day to day follow up on member activities and for mobilization purposes. We implemented activities in 21 villages where beneficiaries divided themselves into 24 likeminded or same interest workgroups and through a participatory process, each workgroup selected a project subcommittee on merit, comprised of a chairperson, treasurer and secretary specifically to mobilize its group members to be able to carry out the different plans and activities they had decided upon.
C) Training: For effective utilization of the distributed bicycles a few trainings were made with the help of funding from Jugendhilfe Ostafrika e.V and Cycling out of Poverty. These trainings included; sensitization meetings, planning and evaluation meetings, solar cooker trainings, financial management training, Meetings for purposes of identifying target households / beneficiaries, election of membership to the sub – committees on merit and to develop community action plans.
We also trained the identified 154 households in development awareness, prioritization of income and expenditure at household level, savings and credit management, piggery, local and exotic poultry keeping and bee keeping. Project sub – committees were trained in elementary planning, monitoring and evaluation, and the same training helped to clearly define the different roles of the members of the sub committees tailored to their workgroup interests. BSPW also developed and distributed handbooks on bicycle maintenance and repair, piggery, local poultry keeping and apiary, all geared at household empowerment.
D) Environment Protection: We at BSPW believe that in the urgency to reduce on the cutting of trees. This year 18 solar cookers, 4 locally made ovens, and 379 Energy saving stoves were distributed in addition to the bicycle. The sole purpose is reducing the use of firewood and charcoal, reducing the household chores of women and children who would otherwise have lost time in the search for plenty of firewood, and the provision of a clean kitchen away from the smoke and ash.
E) Appropriate Technology Programme: This year, a good number of clients’ bicycles were repaired and 2 Bicycle ambulances made and distributed to Salem Brotherhood in Mbale. 21 wheel chairs, 17 tri-cycles, and 9 pairs of Crutches were also made and distributed under the Wheel Chair Project. A new prototype of bicycle, ‘ The Hoima Bike ‘ with a much longer and stronger carrier was also fabricated and assembled at BSPW for sale. This is a new initiative, and so far we have made 3 prototypes and in October, we sold off our first Hoima bike. The appropriate technology programme is also the income generation component of BSPW that helps supplement on its other programmes and projects.
F) Workshop Extension: We express our gratitude to the Emmrich Jutta family, the City of Karlsruhe and Jugendhilfe Ostafrika e.V, with whose support, we were able to roof, fabricate and fit windows and doors for the new building, which is an extension of the workshop.
Visitors: During the year, a team from Jugendhilfe Ostafrika e.V, visited BSPW in August 2010. The team included; Mr. Stephan Burg, Ms Eva Rudolf, Anika and Florian and the family of the Late Mr. Emmaeram Raßhofer, which included: Ms Adhelheid Schulte Bocholt, Sophie and Julia Raßhofer, Ms. Anja a friend to Adelheid also from Thankirchen, Dietramszell.
An Expatriate from E. G Solar, Mr. Karl Whitman also visited BSPW and trained the metal department team in refurbishing and assembling of the new model of solar cooker. Mr. Karl Whitman also conducted demonstrations of the usage of the Solar cooker in two communities in Njeru Town Council. We thank E.G Solar Altotting and SES ( Senior Experten Service in Bonn) for all their support. We also received some materials for making solar cookers from E.G Solar.
Ms. Corrina Wallrup also visited BSPW in September 2010. Corrina is a good friend of the BSPW team and one of our old Volunteers. Ms. Barbara Kipke and her daughter Ana visited BSPW in October 2010 and two teams of Students and Professors from Trier University visited BSPW in March and September 2010. Similarly two teams of students from Switzerland visiting St. Moses Children’s Care Centre paid a courtesy visit to BSPW in July this year.
News from Uganda: At the moment campaigns are taking place as our nation is preparing for national elections for Local council I to Presidential elections. We have also recently hosted the African Union Summit under the theme “Africa cares: no woman should die while giving life”. This season, we have received less rainfall than we did the past two seasons.
Vote of thanks: The BSPW team and the communities it serves express our sincere thanks to the Jugendhilfe Ostafrika e.V Team, the Emmaram Raßhofer Family, the Emmrich Jutta Family, the E.G Solar Team, the City Council of Karlsruhe, the Re – Cycle UK team, the Montessori Dietramszell Team, Velo Plus Switzerland, our donors across Europe, and to all the friends and well wishers who have made it possible for BSPW to meet some of the needs (like water, access to health centers, market places and schools) of the low income communities in the areas where it works.