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Spin the Wheel #2

Cycling Malawi for children

À propos du projet

Malawi is a generally unknown country and it’s name brings different thoughts in mind. Located in South Africa, Malawi is for sure a country of contradictions. Children do go to school without shoes but they cannot attend classes without a school uniform!

We believe education to be the most important tool you can receive, that can bring you success, better possibilities in life and personal growth. Therefore, our purpose is to reinforce children by providing them school uniforms, meaning their “ticket” to school. The way to do that is through a cycling trip in Malawi starting this July. We are a group of 5 Greek cycling activists, part of a bigger team of about 40 active volunteers, all trying to raise the total amount for the production of 825 school uniforms.

Now, in 2019, these 825 children live in two isolated villages around the city Livingstonia in Malawi, which happen to be school areas. One school uniform costs 6€ and can be used for 3 years by a pupil. The important contradiction here comes to the fact that children do want to educate themselves and cannot do so. Thus, we invite all of you to help them fulfill this dream.

What is Spin the Wheel?

Spin the Wheel is a group of volunteers with a legal form of a non-profit association and a vision to create the world that inspires us to live in! What does this mean is left for your consideration. For some, Spin the Wheel reflects into improving living conditions. Some people identify Spin the Wheel with the protection of the environment and some just are constantly getting inspired by the strengthening of social justice and solidarity. You choose, you play a team game!


What about Spin the Wheel #2?

Spin the Wheel #2 is the 2nd mission of our association to Africa. We are an open team with a constant need of volunteers, since each and every one interacts as an active member to the extent and for the timescale which satisfies him/her. Alexandra Roussou, doctor of Physics, got inspired by the presentation of the results of the Spin the Wheel (#1) mission and wished to spin the wheels of education once again in Africa.

How did the idea came to life?

Alexandra, being a resident of Heraklion of Crete for the past 11 years, has biked over 5,000 km around the Cretan villages, connecting the cities of the island through cycling, travelling both alone and in groups. Due to the academic background which she experiences in daily basis, Alexandra recognizes the great power of learning for all the children of the world and this is her exact motive to this 2nd meaningful trip.

In July 2019 and for 1 month 5 people, 3 men and 2 women, ride a distance of about 600 km from south Malawi (city: Lilongwe) to north Malawi (city: Livingstonia) aiming to reinforce 825 children with school uniforms in two isolated villages.

Why school uniform is so important in Malawi?

  1. It secures a child with access to education for 3 years, meaning that uniform lasts for this amount of time and works as a “ticket” for school.
  2. It prevents child marriage, rape and teen pregnancy, since, without a school uniform, this is the only predetermined life for a girl in Malawi.
  3. It sets the whole family in a “higher” social status, since parents can send their kids to school.
  4. It is transferable from kid to kid.
  5. It protects the child from diseases and weather conditions.

We send an alert call to people in Greece as well as to all people around the globe. Each and every one of us is just another Citizen of the World, who through his/her interests and spare time can contribute to the completion and even the expansion of this whole project.

In Africa the bike is equal to:

  • Access to education
  • Access to work
  • Access to water
  • Environmental protection
  • Mean of transportation for people and goods
  • Sport
  • Ambulance

Our History
Spin the Wheel (#1) is the first, homonymous, project of our association. Kalli Roumeliotou, teacher, wanted to unite her passion for cycling trips with a way of contribution to society and education.

How the idea of Spin the Wheel was born?

In 2015 Kalli was in Bangladesh for an educational research with ActionAid, where she closely experienced what means for a child to lack basic education. By the time she decided to make true the Spin the Wheel idea of hers, she had already made 8 cycling trips.

In October of 2016 she suggested her idea to some creative people and soon after that Spin the Wheel began to get real flesh and bones!

Thereby, in July of 2017, 8 members of the team rode 800 km from Malawi to Tanzania with the initiative to reinforce, through their cycling pathway, 4,500 children in 15 schools with stationery, notebooks and athletique equipment as well as offering laptops to 2 institutions for vulnerable groups of people.

What did we finally do? Let’s see it in numbers:

  1. Stationery material for 7,000 students in 21 schools.
  2. Chalks, sponges and rulers for the schools we visited.
  3. 100 balls and 32 jump ropes.
  4. Books for the library of the Phoka school.
  5. Painting of 4 Gymnasium classrooms in Kyela, Tanzania.
  6. Laptops in 2 local institutions in order to promote education (Mtende Homecraft Foundation and The Mango Tree).
  7. The 7 bikes of our mission sponsored by GRCycling continue their trip to Africa, acquiring even greater meaning in the possession of high-school students.

A total of 60 volunteers in Heraklion, Chania, Athens, Kalamata, Nafplio and Kavala, each person according to his interests and time, contributed to the completion of this first project.

Why Africa?

1 out of 3 adults are completely illiterate, one book corresponds to 5 children, in the same time that students are waiting for their turn to take the pencil, write notes and do their exercises.

The use of the bicycle is symbolic. Bicycle means transportation, health, sport, environmental protection.. In addition to all that, bicycle in Africa is also the key to education, work or water, the transport of goods or an ambulance. It is therefore an integral necessity of the African everyday life.

With respect to the local culture, all the materials offered were the same as those children would use if they could afford to buy them.

Each of our actions is like a water drop: It creates waves all over the surface of the lake! So it is in our hands to become the change we want to see in the world!

A quoi va servir le financement ?

Having as guide the contribution to Malawi’s local culture, school uniforms are being produced these days until the beginning of our journey in the end of July from our partner organization, Mtende Homecraft Foundation. We are responsible to make available to them all the financial resources needed for every one of the 825 children to get their school uniforms. This 2nd mission of our association is supported for another time under the auspices of the Anike Foundation, which aims to secure children’s education in Africa.

One school uniform costs 6€ and is translated to one child going to school for the next, at least, 3 years. How many children you wish to support?

The total amount of money to be collected since our initial goal is for 825 children to get school uniforms is 4,950€ (=825x6€).

These resources will be given hand-to-hand this July, from the cycling team of Spin the Wheel #2 to Mtende Homecraft Foundation, which together with Anike Foundation is our partner organization in Malawi and is currently taking care of the production of the 825 school uniforms for children.

Our mission in Spin the Wheel #2 is to receive these 825 school uniforms from the Mtende Homecraft Foundation and share them to the 825 children in need. Chirwa and Nkhota are the names of the two isolated schools, located in a distance of 35 km and 15 km respectively, from Livingstonia.

Thank you warmly and in advance for supporting our effort. Every single reading of our goal opens up not just to children of another continent, but to children all over the world. Every contribution regardless the amount consists a proof of solidarity. Every one of us, plus one, plus one.. leads to infinity! 1+1+1+1+1+ … = infinity

We invite you to become the 1 that you can!


À propos du porteur de projet

Meet Spin the Wheel #2 team:

Alexandra, living in Heraklion, for the past eleven years, has cycled about 5,000 km in the cities and the villages of Crete, traveling alone or with friends. She believes in positive thinking and attitude on the pedals and she express what cycling means for her in the following two quotes:

"When cycling, a strong cyclist is more important than a good bicycle" and
"Your spirit can take you where your body can’t"

Talking about a spirit, her own spirit began to bit in African rhythms since she was a child when she told her mother “when I grow up I will go to Africa by plane with two big black trash bags full of children's toys”!! Being a kid these bags was something huge for little Alexandra and talking about the trip was rather prophetic since now through “Spin the Wheel 2” she is doing what she loves: riding on the continent of her childhood dream with the aim of many bags full of school uniforms for children!!

Anna, having wandered in large and small cities and villages in Greece, lives in Athens for the last 4 years. Every day, at her work, she is charmed by enormous childish hugs and smiles. She feels she should not stop dreaming of a world more beautiful and more just for all of us.

She believes in the power of simple, positive people, with good intentions and willingness to offer to the community. While looking for them, she met this unique company of “Spin the Wheel”. Their roads were met and she is now a proud member of this mission that is so important! “Spin the Wheel” combines Anna's love of sport activities, namely cycling, with solidarity and giving back to society.

The bicycle is a precious means of transport and good for Africa and the presence of a bicycle team there enhances Anna’s willingness to stand in solidarity.

“Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race”. This quote by H.G. Wells makes Anna dreaming about cycling in this distant continent. Every time her pedal makes a full turn she knows that a bigger smile will shine on a kid’s face.

George is twenty four years old and he lives in Heraklion where he is studying mechanical engineering. Since he was a child he has developed and tested himself by trying many different sports, which are a big part of his life. Lately he is practicing long distance cycling and downhill mountain biking. “Spin the wheel” is a dream for him in which she wants to share smiles and help children in need.

Kostas is fifty five years old and he lives in Athens. Apart from cycling, he loves cinema, helping fellow human and travelling! “Spin the Wheel 2” provides him with the opportunity to express all four! He aims to film the mission, in order to make a documentary, to ride his bicycle on the land of Malawi and to offer as much as possible to children through the collective actions of “Spin the Wheel”!

Vassilis has spent the last four years in Heraklion after wandering in northern Europe where he put cycling in his everyday life. Before trying it, he did not believe that someone can ride daily in the rain or snow and enjoy it. As a child he loved making jumps and sideslipping in the dirt until the final fall. Today he follows safer paths, but he still learns to fall and get up.

A humanitarian mission to Africa is not just a childhood dream for Vassili. Every effort to eliminate social inequality and illiteracy is of utmost importance to him. Contributing to areas where there are people hungry for necessities of life and educational material, things that people in Europe may take as granted, is invaluable. Perhaps the surest and most natural way to improve living standards in one of the poorest countries in the world, such as Malawi, is through education and the transfer of knowledge. We give children a hand and they give us hope.

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