/ Home / Your Council / News / News Releases / 2009 / March
Pupils Raise Funds For Motor Cycle Charity’s Work In Africa (04/03/09)
Boys from a Black Isle School have swung into action to give support of an international organisations work to provide safe and reliable 2 and 4 wheeled transport to health workers in Africa.
Last year pupils from the Black Isle Education Centre started chopping firewood and then sold it locally to raise funds for Riders For Health, an international non-governmental organisation born out of the world of motorcycle racing. The charity, whose patron is the Princess Royal, works to provide health workers in Africa with reliable transportation so they can reach the most isolated and vulnerable people to provide regular and emergency health care.
Thanks to the work of the young wood choppers, over £400 has been raised to date.
Gavin Sked, the Head of the Black Isle Education Centre, is a keen motorcyclist and as motorcycles play a big part in the life of the school, he is delighted that the pupils have been so enthusiastic about raising money to donate to Riders For Health.
He said: “I share my enthusiasm with the boys and to find such a good cause so close to their interest in motor bikes is a bonus. At our school we have a workshop where the boys learn how to maintain the bikes and every Thursday afternoon some of the lads get the chance to ride the motorcycles around the school course. Who gets to ride depends on how well they have done the rest of the week. It is a good incentive. I’m certain it would have helped me pay more attention in school.”
The Black Isle Education Centre (BIEC) was established in 2001 for boys who have been unable to continue with mainstream schooling because of social, emotional and behavioural problems. The centre operates as a day school and all the boys take part in English, maths, and science lessons, as well as arts and crafts, P.E, and social education. The centre encourages outdoor activities to help the boys build up their confidence and esteem.
The Highland Council’s Chairman of Education, Culture and Sport, Councillor Bill Fernie congratulated the boys for their hard work. He said: “Delivering basic health care and medicines in remote areas of Africa is a great challenge. In many cases using motor bikes to transport people and supplies is the most practical solution. The young people have learnt from their own experience the importance of having bikes that are well maintained and safe to use. It is good that the young people have found a practical way of raising money which is helping to relieve the suffering of others.”
In all of these countries Riders has put in place reliable preventive maintenance systems for two- and four-wheeled vehicles used in health care delivery.