ALL ABOUT THE BIKE: A United States resident has started a crowd-funding initiative called Backabuddy, which aims to raise funds to purchase bicycles for pupils to get to school safely.

Cape Town - He was surprised to see children walking long distances to school, so he started a crowd-funding initiative to get children from the Northern Cape bicycles.

Joseph Payne, 21, from Georgia in the US started his initiative after spending weeks at a rural development agency during an internship programme. Cape Town-based Dockda focuses on rural areas with limited resources and no government funding.

After joining Dockda in early June, Payne saw children walking kilometres to school without any adult supervision. Some children didn’t even have shoes. He quickly found out from the community that violence and kidnapping is a daily fear.

Haunted by a feeling of helplessness, Payne decided to create a crowd-funding initiative called Backabuddy.

“The bicycles will help children get to school faster and easier, improving their academic achievement and decreasing their risk to violence,” said Payne.

To raise funds, he plans to walk in the shoes of the children he is fund-raising for, by climbing Devil’s Peak, Table Mountain and Lion’s Head, a distance of 15km (the average distance these children walk on a daily basis) on July 22.

The aim is to raise funds to buy at least five bikes. One bicycle, including transport to Kuruman, costs R3 700.

Cape Argus

* If you would like to support Payne to provide children in the Northern Cape with transport to school, donate to his Crowdfunding Campaign on Backabuddy: Alternatively contact Dockda at 021 685 1236 or Backabuddy marketing officer Zane Groenewald on 082 602 0735.