The Velokhaya Life Cycling Academy is a non-profit organisation based in Khayelitsha, South Africa. The aim of their cycling-based programmes is to involve children living in marginalised communities in a positive after-school activity, one which builds their self-esteem and keeps them off the streets and away from the social ills prevalent in their communities, such as gangsterism, crime and substance abuse.
In 2015, Velokhaya opened their state-of-the-art ICT and Life Skills Centre. The centre boasts a gym with spinning bikes, reception area, library, workshop for bike maintenance, change rooms and a state-of-the-art computer room. Through this, the academy promotes education, transformation & the development of safe cycling in Khayelitsha as well as the surrounding townships and informal settlements.
Avicom contributed to the opening of the ICT and Life Skills Centre in 2015 by donating and installing a flat screen TV and surround sound system in their library. After visiting in February 2016, Sipho Mono-Lekoma, the General Manager at Velokhaya, shared with us the enjoyment and value it has added to their centre. The youth who come through their doors have been able to stay up-to-date with cycling events as they have been broadcast, are able to host dance workshops there and are able to keep busy as opposed to being involved in the more negative after-school activities common in the community.
Avicom intends to nurture a long-term relationship with Velokhaya, assisting them where possible in achieving their aim of promoting education, development and transformation amongst the youth of Khayelitsha and surrounding communities. We are currently looking forward to May 7 when Avicom’s staff, clients and suppliers will be spending the afternoon at Velokhaya as the youth there demonstrate their BMX skills for us whilst we prepare a plate of Akni (an Indian rice dish) for about 100 youth and other attendees. Sipho Mono-Lekoma will take us on a tour of the centre and all its facilities. We’re hoping that Avicom’s suppliers and/or clients are moved by the vision of Velokhaya and become motivated to get involved, and that together with Avicom, we can make a meaningful contribution at Velokhaya Life Cycling Academy. Watch this space!