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 30, 2012) — A cooperative effort of two Western Washington companies Olympia-based Alaffia Sustainable Skin Care (Alaffia) and Seattle-headquartered PCC Natural Markets (PCC), will help African teens avoid missing school due to lack of transportation.
For eight years Alaffia has collected, transported and distributed used bicycles for the benefit of teens 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 4,000 bicycles distributed and 95% of recipients staying in or completing school, “Bicycles for Education” is making a real difference in rural Togolese communities.
“Since I received my bicycle from Alaffia, I am happy because I can get to school on time every day", said Noëline Tam, 9th grade student in Sokodé, Togo and recipient of a bicycle. "I am able to use my bicycle to conduct errands and chores on the way to school, such as delivering lunch to my father in his fields. This gift from Alaffia has created a change in my family and my village. I can see that the other young people are motivated to go to school.”
PCC has hosted Alaffia bike drives annually since 2008, collecting over 1,000 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 fifth 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 websites. 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, WA, PCC Natural Markets is a certified organic retail cooperative with annual sales of $161 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: Olowo-n’djo Tchala founded Alaffia in 2004 as a means to support community empowerment projects in his native Togo. Alaffia manufactures natural shea butter personal care products in Olympia, WA, including Alaffia, EveryDay Shea, Beautiful Curls and EveryDay Coconut. The shea butter is produced in Togo by Alaffia’s fair trade certified cooperatives and shipped to Olympia, where is it the primary ingredient in Alaffia’s premium handmade skin moisturizers, soaps and hair care products. Alaffia products are available at health and natural food stores, including co-ops, across the United States. www.alaffia.com and www.empowermentalliance.org