Bike donations benefit school children in Africa
“Bicycles for Education” bike drives co-sponsored by Alaffia Sustainable Skin Care and PCC Natural Markets
(Seattle, Wash., July 12, 2011) — For the fourth consecutive year, two Washington organizations, Lacey-based Alaffia Sustainable Skin Care (Alaffia) and Seattle-headquartered PCC Natural Markets (PCC), are working together to collect bicycles and help African teens stay in school.
For seven years, Alaffia has collected, transported and distributed used bicycles for the benefit of students in Togo, a small country in West Africa. The bicycles are distributed to disadvantaged teens for transportation to and from school. Alaffia founder, president and Togo native, Olowo-n’djo Tchala, knows first-hand the challenges of overcoming poverty and the impact a simple bicycle can have on a child’s life. With over 3,500 bicycles distributed and 95% of recipients staying in or completing school, “Bicycles for Education” is making a real difference in rural Togolese communities.
Last December, Essoyonmeive Kpele, a senior at the Kpangalam Secondary School in Sokode, Togo, said “Without the bicycle I received from Alaffia, I would not still be in school. In 2009, my school moved 10 kilometers to Kpangalam, and I would not have been able to travel there every day without my bike. Now I am in my final year, and I am so thankful.”
PCC has hosted Alaffia bike drives annually since 2008, collecting over 700 bicycles. “Our customers appreciate this opportunity to give their used bikes a purposeful second life that helps young students escape a future of poverty,” says Sara Walsh, PCC’s community relations manager. This year, PCC will host a fourth annual bike drive at two of its stores. Functioning, adult sized used bicycles will be accepted.
More information on the upcoming bike drives can be found on PCC or Alaffia’s Web sites. For volunteer opportunities, contact Olowo-n’djo Tchala at 360.866.0080 ext. 204 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About PCC Natural Markets: Headquartered in Seattle, PCC Natural Markets is a certified-organic retail cooperative with annual sales of $148 million and an active membership of 46,000 households. PCC operates nine stores in the Seward Park, View Ridge, Greenlake, West Seattle, Fremont, Kirkland, Redmond, Edmonds and Issaquah neighborhoods. www.pccnaturalmarkets.com
About Alaffia Sustainable Skin Care: Located in Lacey, WA, Alaffia produces a line of handcrafted skin care products made from certified fair trade shea butter and other ingredients indigenous to Africa. Alaffia returns sale proceeds to projects in aimed at reducing poverty and advancing gender equality. www.alaffia.com