Welcome to New Cycles, a project which teaches the children within disadvantaged communities how to become self reliant through the teachings of repairing bicycles.
How to be self reliant:
- Assume Responsibility
- Be informed
- Know where you’re going
- Make your own decisions
The initiative of sharing this skill was induced when I volunteered with the Mobile Medical Unit. While on duty, I realised many problems that the unit was not touching on: people do not have access to public transportation due to financial reasons, a lot of children walking around not knowing what to do and the use of drugs by teenagers, and many broken bicycles lying around. Moreover, when I consulted the community leader, I learnt that the only local bicycle shop had closed down and the only garage in the area would not lend tools to the children due to its costs. So, many bicycles have been left broken. Therefore, having worked at a bicycle shop and a garage, I consulted the community leader about my idea. In this project, I aim to preach the four steps mentioned above by setting up workshops which teach the children different skills. Within these steps, most of the children already participate in helping their parents find money and learn the traits of responsibility quicker than other children. However, I believe the main problem is steps 2,3, and 4. This is because, the children are limited with information and do not know how to react or act on different situations. Therefore, they do not “know where they’re going”: this means that the children do not have an aim in life or a goal they are pursuing. Step 4: the most straightforward step of them all, once these children learn how to do different things and to always set a goal in their life, they will be able to make their own decisions and be able to do things on their own even if they have a lesser opportunity. Consequently, by teaching these children how to fix bicycles while always making sure that they set a goal with every procedure, I am slowly feeding them with the knowledge of how to become self reliant with the long term vision of mechanical work as a means for capital.
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