Wheels to Africa is a nonprofit organization whose principal purpose is to collect bicycles for needy communities in Africa and America. A secondary principal purpose of Wheels to Africa is to serve as an educational and volunteer platform for developing youth leaders. Wheels to Africa strives to educate volunteers on how their quality of life compares with poorest world communities and to perpetuate a “pass it on” commitment to aid those who are less fortunate.
Wheels to Africa was founded by an 11 year old Arlington County boy named Winston Duncan in December of 2005. Since 2005, there have been 15 bikes collects and over 7000 bikes collected and donated to needy communities. The December 2008 collection set a record by 1000 bikes in one day. The community and individual support received by Wheels to Africa has propelled the organization to expand its reach to enlist more communities to donate bikes and provide financial support.
Why did Winston want to send bicycles to Africa at such a young age? Winston was very close to his grandmother, Deda Duncan, who had emphysema and had to have oxygen 24 hours a day. Winston and his grandmother had a unique relationship built on love, kindness, admiration, compassion, and empathy. Winston was his grandmother’s right hand man. He got her medicine, helped her with little task, and was eager to assist with anything necessary. So when Winston visited South Africa and he saw an old women working with a young man he reflected upon his grandmother. How would this women get her medicine? How far does she have to walk? Does she have water and food? Winston repeatedly asked these questions to anyone who would listen.
Then he decided that he would ship a bicycle to the old women so she could get her medicine. His simple solution to a big problem lead him and his friends to host a bike collection. Now there have been 15 collections, and 7000 bicycles. In addition, Wheels to Africa has hosted several youth in Tanzania.
“Changing lives one bike at a time!”