Seventy five bikes, helmets and locks arrived in St. Kitts and Nevis on March 25, marking the successful completion of the first step of Community Bikes’ effort to provide bicycles to SKN in coordination with partners in the host country.
A US Air Force cargo plane delivered the bikes as part of the Denton Program, which facilitates the shipment of humanitarian goods. This was the first such shipment to SKN in the history of the program. The plane was greeted on the tarmac by a contingent of representatives from all of the participating partners, along with media representatives from ZIZ TV, several leading newspapers and from the public affairs offices of the US Embassy and the US Air Force.
The bicycles will be used in two outstanding programs. Under the direction of the SKN Cycling Federation, headed by Greg Phillip and Winston Crooke, bikes will be used in an after school and weekend program to introduce elementary school children to a life habit of cycling, to encourage those with an interest in competitive cycling, and to build a fledgling cycling federation program for women.
On St. Kitts, bikes will be used as an incentive for at risk youth in a program entitled Cycle through Success. Under the direction of the SKN Ministry of Youth Empowerment and program coordinator Jeffrey Hanley, Cycle through Success challenges young people to complete a comprehensive program that includes training in health, personal development, anger management, entrepreneurship, community service and more. The results of both programs will be closely monitored, with an eye toward building off the success of each.
The shipment of bikes also included a pallet of hospital and medical supplies destined for JN France General Hospital in St. Kitts. The supplies were donated by Dr. Cedric Francis, St. Kitts native now living in Chittenango, New York. Dr. Francis has been sending supplies to his homeland for a number of years, and now is partnering with Community Bikes to expand the impact of the program.