Bike charities are awesome. But the stories of the people touched by bike charities, if they’re told at all, are typically told by the bike charities themselves, rarely by the people who benefit. That’s one reason I find this poem by Kavuma Ronald and Kakooza Richard so poignant: Not only do you hear from someone who’s been given a bike from Wheels 4 Life, you hear a perspective on the way it opens up their world that’s impossible to convey fully unless it comes straight from the horse’s mouth.
THE BIKE: TWO WHEELS MANY USES!!
I knew a bike before but I never knew it does great things,
My father rode it but never told me it’s a great means of transport
The bike took my father to work and we had our school fees
The bike brought my father back home, and we had it for domestic use
Mr. Bike, where did you come from?
I need to know your ancestors Mr. bike,
Be you Male or female, you are a commendable machine!
You have two wheels but so many uses!
During harvesting you bring our food home.
Every morning you take me to school and bring me back home in time after school
You make no noise, you make no pollution
You are environmental friendly
You consume no fuel and yet you are fast enough!
Oh you bike how useful you are!
When we harvested our maize, you took it to the market,
When I sold it I got money for my school needs,
When we are sick at home, you take us to hospital
When we have no water, you take us to the well
With two wheels I thought you had two uses
You bike, are you female or male?
Mothers do a lot of work, so I can call you a mother
But fathers are physically strong; I need to call you a father
Oh you bike what should I say you are?
I will treasure you mother bike because you have changed our life in the family
I will promote you bike because every one can afford you
I will protect you because you have no harm to nature
You men and women of the earth take to bikes
A bike can change one’s life, a bike can reduce peoples’ poverty levels.
A bike can do more than what one can think of, a bike is cheap to maintain.
A bike is friendly to even the poorest of the poor,
You bike you are a real knight in shining armor for those that might have lost hope!
— Kavuma Ronald and Kakooza Richard
For more on Wheels 4 Life, which has donated almost 5,000 bikes in the developing world, at wheels4life.org.