Category Archives: Rotary

Fisantekraal Bike Club update

Fisantekraal Bike Club update

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“It has been one year since the Fisantekraal Bike Club was born out of an empty shipping container behind the rural community’s High School, 10 km from the Northern Cape Town suburb of Durbanville. Naturally there have been obstacles, challenges, joys and accomplishments along the way and it is in the reflecting – in looking back at where we started – that we can truly see how far we’ve come. It overwhelms me with gratitude to remember all those who have supported the project along the way. For this, I wish to express, on behalf of everyone here on the ground, our immense thanks to our supporters, donors and cheerleaders – to YOU! Thanks for being part of our journey in 2014 and we hope you will continue to follow the Fisantekraal Bike Club as it grows and evolves in 2015.

Since school recommenced in January this year, we’ve been busy like bees. Here’s a taste of what we’ve been up to:

Cycle of Giving – In partnership with Bellville Track Cycling, we tuned up nearly 20 children’s bicycles donated by our local community at the Bellville Velodrome in January. Bicycles are currently being assigned to youth aged 3-12 who have been nominated by Bike Club members (brothers, sisters and neighbors) and will be distributed by our high school youth over the next 6 weeks.

Open Streets on Bree Street – A dozen of our club members took part in the Open Streets (car free) celebration on Bree Street this January, riding bicycles our friends at Rondies Bikes from Observatory to the CBD. Our youth participated in a bicycle scavenger hunt with The Riding Hood, tested out the Blenda-Venda pedal powered smoothie machine and took a ride on the electric bicycles with Pedego!

Bike Fix – This January, our youth members joined Bicycle Cape Town in the southern suburb of Woodstock to learn with the fabulous mechanics at Woodstock Cycleworks!

Cape Town Cycle Tour – 23 of our members competed in the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2015, 47km (shortened) road cycling race, in Cape Town! This is a massive event where nearly 35 000 cyclists race through the stunning scenery (and challenging terrain!) of the Cape Town Peninsula. 20 of our youth completed the course including 2 from our girls’ group, with 10 in total finishing in under two hours!

Cape Argus MTB Challenge – This year we received a couple of substitution entries for mountain bike version of the Cycle Tour and 2 of our enthusiastic members stepped up to the challenge! Mzwanele competed in the 22 km course on the Saturday and Atang in the full 55 km course on the Sunday. We were so proud when our members returned from the races and shared their results: Mzwanele completed in 1h05m and Atang in 4h20m!


As we go forward in 2015, we will be concentrating on excelling within these main objectives of Bike Club:

1) Coordinating community improvement and upliftment projects together (garbage clean up and recycling education, children’s bicycling and safety workshops at the primary school, an the earn-a-bike program at the high school etc.)

2) Supporting all of our members to improve and learn in various aspects of cycling, including mechanics and riding skills, as well as expose our team to local opportunities involving bicycles (business, painting, events, etc). Furthermore, we wish to support specific members to excel in areas where they show great commitment, enthusiasm and aptitude in a specific style of cycling (track, mountain, road, etc).

3) Coordinating a cycling team and facilitating group rides and participation in local cycling events.

4) Maintaining a workshop facility whereby Fisantekraal Bike Club members can use tools and guidance from leaders and other members to maintain and repair their bicycles.

Watch out for these exciting events!

1) April 18: Bike Wash at Philadelphia MTB competition – 5 of our members will be assisting Brunox Lubricants at this exciting mountain bike event and earning cash for the Fisantekraal Bike Club.

2) May 28: Corporate Social Responsibility project – 6 of our enthusiastic mechanics will assist nearly 200 staff from a Cape Town company to assemble 50 Avalanche bicycles at as part of a CSR event being hosted in Langa. The Fisantekraal Bike Club is honoured to have been invited to participate in the event and to be the recipients of the assembled bicycles!

To all of our ‘cheerleaders’, local and international: We have come so far and will continue to grow and thrive because of your support. On behalf of myself and our youth members, thank you SO much for being a part of Fisantekraal Bike Club’s very first year! Let’s make 2015 an even better year – ride on!

Brenna Coupland
Project Coordinator
Fisantekraal Bike Club”

PLI 2012 highlights: teaching, building, and sharing

PLI 2012 highlights: teaching, building, and sharing

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PLI 2012 highlights: teaching, building, and sharing

As this year comes to a close, and upon reflecting on the progress we’ve been able to make, we feel excited about what, with the help of our supporters, will be done next year. Below is a glimpse of programs we will be expanding upon in 2013. We thank you for all for your support!


Upon consultation with the Fisantekraal High School staff and parents of learners, Peace and Love International began developing a much needed academic tutoring program for the youths called Each1Teach1. At the time we began recruiting talented tutors from the University of Cape Town (UCT) we were dismayed by the fact that 86% of the school’s pupils were failing their grades. Our program got off to a strong start thanks to the assistance of UCT student group called Ubunye who for years has developed and maintained tutoring efforts in marginalized communities. By bringing dozens of university students to the high school we managed to assist students eager to improve their academic performance. Though we certainly cannot take credit, students, staff, and the school’s principal are adamant that the program has demonstrated results, and we are thankful that at the end of the school year majority of the students were moving onto the next grade.

We wrapped up our tutoring effort with a unique celebration for the academically-committed high school students who participated in our tutoring effort, taking them on a nature outing thanks to a transportation grant by the HCI Foundation. At the end of 2013 we hope to take even more students on this celebration as we intend to expand our tutoring program to all grades of students at the school (8,9,10, and 11) while diversifying the subjects offered for tutoring. Similarly, our energetic Each1Teach1 steering committee members have been busy planning a recruitment drive for the new year, naturally making us very excited about the wonderful tutors joining our team in the months to come.


In 2012 Peace and Love International received a generous Matching Grant from Rotary Clubs in Canada and South Africa which saw the shipment of a 12 meter container from Vancouver to Cape Town. The contents of the container were thoughtfully gathered by The Rotary World Help Network and packed by kind Rotarians who made every effort to fill the container to its maximum capacity with medical supplies, educational materials, sporting equipment, musical instruments, and everything in between! We were eager to receive this support not only for the fact that it allowed up to expand and enhance our initiatives, but equally for the fact that it enabled us to reach out to our community partners doing quality work for those in need. To this end, PLI was able to share thousands of items with over +20 organizations, including Red Cross Children’s Hospital, 2 under-resourced government hospitals, 7 Rotary Clubs, and over 15 community organizations such as Noluthando School for the Deaf, Education Without Borders, and the South African Education and Environment Project. The ripple effect created by the Rotarians who worked so hard to deliver these goods to us is beyond measure and we thank them on behalf of all our community partners in Cape Town.


This year we broke ground at Fisantekraal High School and were able to construct a netball court for the new school’s first pupils. Netball is a sport traditionally played by woman, but our aim to break this gender barrier at the school by offering a program for male students while providing a rare opportunity for the school’s female students to participate in a meaningful, empowering group activity. Like all our other programs this one too shall focus on life-skills, using sport as a medium for confidence building and positive decision making while academic stipulations of the program will seek to enhance educational performance. The court was completed in December 2012 and the first teams will be offered to the youths in the new school year. The construction of the court was sponsored by Rotary Clubs in North America and South Africa.

    Thank YOU

2012 has been PLI’s most successful year yet. We would not have been able to do what we’ve done without the support of people like you, countless Rotarians, school staff, community members, organizations like Ubunye, Rotary, and the HCI Foundation, dedicated volunteer from the University of Cape Town, and extraordinary individuals serving on our board of directors in South Africa and Canada. If you believe in the work we do, please share this post – hopefully it will result in us meeting more people like you, allowing us to continually expand our efforts for those in need.

Wishing you a wonderful new year,

The Peace and Love International Team

From our hands, into theirs; a heavy delivery for Baphumelele!

From our hands, into theirs; a heavy delivery for Baphumelele!

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About a year ago some of our Canadian friends in Rotary came to visit us in Cape Town. While here, they learned more about our efforts on the ground, and wanted to help by sending us the materials we needed to expand our programs. They also connected with other organizations doing good work in the community. One that caught their eyes was Baphumelele, a truly vast community effort ranging from orphanages to hospices.  Peace and Love International, having visited their operations 3 years ago, can attest to the organization’s positive impact on Khayelitsha.

Our friends wanted certain items delivered to the home. The most prized position for the orphanage was a piano!

There was also 20 hospital beds with mattresses for a brand new hospice! What a packing job was done that day…

Peace and Love International wanted to go above and beyond the resources designated for them, and as such, we started identifying other needs after consulting with Mama Rosie, Baphumalele’s founder. In the next few weeks, you’ll see more photos of the assistance we were able to provide to Baphumelele… See you here again soon!

French books from Canada proving surprisingly useful in South Africa

French books from Canada proving surprisingly useful in South Africa

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South Africa is the financial hub of Africa, and as such, there are millions of African refugees who have moved here in search of a better life. People, lacking opportunity in their poorer countries, cross the borders, legally and otherwise, often with their children, working against the odds to move forward.

However, there are next to no social services for these refugees. Since the xenophobic attacks of 2008, African refugees continue to live in fear of violence. The state overlooks the needs of the migrant communities to appease a national voter base suffering from staggering unemployment; a common scapegoat is to blame the ‘foreigners’.

Children of refugee parents from French speaking countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Rwanda, and Chad are hit twice as hard given the lack of educational services offered in their mother tongue. Thanks to the culturally sensitive works of those like The Shine Centre, there is some light in sight for those who’ve traveled to Cape Town from afar.

Shine’s website states “The Shine Centre is a nonprofit organisation based in the Western Cape that provides support in literacy and language enrichment to second language children in Grade 2 and 3.” They do, much more, however, as they also provide after school and extracuricular programming for the children of refugee from French speaking African countries. This type of service is truly scarce, and much needed. Beyond sharing office furniture with the organization in order to enhance their efforts, Peace and Love International was most excited to be able to share with Shine a few box fulls of French children’s books; something their kind Communications Manager told us they were greatly lacking.

Merci beacoup, Shine, for the good work you do, and to our friends in Canada who, through the Rotary World Help Network, provided us with these wonderful books!