All around the world children will be dreaming about finding a shiny new bike under the tree on Christmas morning, but how about an entire tree of bikes?
ChildFund New Zealand, with the generous support of Beca and Enterprize Steel, is gearing up to wheel out just that: NZ’s first-ever Christmas Tree of Bikes on Queens Wharf in late November.
At nearly two stories tall and featuring bikes donated by the Auckland community, the ultimate in upcycled Christmas decorations will celebrate the humble bicycle and its importance to children in developing countries like Sri Lanka.
Bikes have been identified by ChildFund as the key to giving children living in poverty in the developing world better access to an education and in turn improving their chances of prospering in future, says Chief Executive of ChildFund New Zealand Paul Brown.
“For a child living in poor, rural Sri Lanka, just being able to get to school is a huge barrier. Having a bike transforms their arduous walk of between five and 15 kilometres each way into a much easier and even fun journey. Their capacity to learn is greater, their attendance increases and their grades improve. It may just be two wheels, but the opportunity it gives them to excel is a truly priceless gift.”
Kiwis love cycling – whether through fond memories of childhood adventure, a hobby or serious sport – and ChildFund hopes the Tree of Bikes will inspire people to help give that same joy to children in the developing world.
New Zealanders inspired by the Tree’s purpose can purchase bikes for children living in ChildFund projects as an alternative Christmas gift for their loved ones through ChildFund’s Gifts that Grow catalogue. The online catalogue includes a wide range of inspirational and heartwarming presents to fit any budget, and provides a stress-free solution for those who are notoriously difficult to buy for.
Join us in heralding in the festive season with the official lighting ceremony for the Tree of Bikes on Friday 28 November, from 8pm at Queens Wharf, Auckland. Watch with family and friends as pedal power is used to put the bikes in lights for the first time at sundown, grab a photo in front of Auckland’s most unique Christmas centrepiece and enjoy carols by the Greater Auckland Chorus.
More than 100 old and unwanted bikes to construct the Tree were donated by CMA Recycling and community members through a series of collection events that ChildFund says has already drummed up an overwhelming level of community support for the project, including a number of Auckland businesses. “When the tree comes down, we are looking forward to re-gifting the working bikes to deserving community groups such as the Refugee Centre,” says Paul Brown.
Help break the cycle of poverty for children in the developing world this Christmas with ChildFund, buy a Gift that Grows for a child in need.