At Togo Kids Hope, we collect unwanted bicycles through bike drives that are organized with our partners, friends, and neighbors. We collect bicycles throughout the entire year but most of our activities are during Spring cleaning when people get rid of unwanted items including bicycles. We also put announcements on social media platforms so people can reach if they have bikes that they would like to donate. Finally, we also buy some of the bikes out of pocket. We keep the bikes in a storage unit until we reach a quota and then we ship them to Togo.
We have a team in Togo that handles most of the fieldwork. Their task consists of receiving, marking, fixing, and storing them in a safe location. In addition, at the beginning of the school year, they travel throughout the country to survey students who walk 5 miles or higher to attend school. After the surveys, the team in Togo goes and meets the family of the surveyed students in their homes. This step is to verify that the information we collected the first time is true and honest. Bikes are given to students that walk more than 5 miles one way to attend their school. We focus more on girls that prone to rape, abuse, and animal attack after sunset.
Once the survey is completed and the data collected is compiled, members living in the US will meet to select a period that will be appropriate for most of the members to travel back to Togo for the distribution in the selected villages. Often, after Christmas is the best period for activities. Both teams will conduct activities to donate the bikes to the neediest among them. What we experience on the field always gives us the motivation to do more when we come back to the US.