Thursday, October 23, 2008

Buy a t-shirt, make a difference

I've been using this blog mostly as a place to dump all the environmental and health news I find interesting. I enjoy sharing important information with anyone who might happen to stumble upon or receive my blog emails. I generally don't take the time to put in much of my own comments because I usually feel the article or video I'm linking to speaks for itself. But today is different.

While the information below is self-explanatory, I still wanted to put in my own plug for this bicycle organization project in Cape Verde (Africa) that my friend Ross started. A great west-coast company called Sonadei is supporting Ross' organization focused on helping people in Cape Verde raise money to buy helmets, learn basic bike maintenance and get out cycling more often. Sonadei has made cool t-shirts with a Cape Verde design (you can even get them made out of recycled cotton! they're really soft!), the proceeds of which benefit the African organization. Sonadei also makes it really easy to make a donation to the organization through Paypal.

Click on the image below to check out the Cape Verde t-shirts. You can click on "recycled t-shirts" once you're on the site to find the Cape Verde recycled t-shirts in many colors and sizes. Please consider Sonadei's Cape Verde t-shirt as a great gift for someone this holiday season - and get out there on your bikes before the snow starts!

Here's some info from the Sonadei website:

SONADEI is proud to announce our Cape Verde Bicycle Organization project!

Our new Cape Verde Bicycle Organization (CVBO) project allows us to support cycling accross the world! The goal of our company is to help spread a positive and active lifestyle. We give back to our community by donating a portions of all our sales to the American Cancer Society, and the National Forest Foundation. Apart from these donations we have taken steps to support the growth and awareness of cycling in Cape Verde, the island Republic located off the west coast of Africa. The country consists of ten islands (and several islets) located roughly 500 miles off the coast of Senegal in Western Africa.

We are focusing our support on the island São Nicolau.

To help us with this project we have partnered with a member of the Peace Corps. Ross Guberman from New York is currently in his second year of volunteering with the Peace Corps. You can read Ross's blog here: Trials and Tribulations.

Ross"My main function as a volunteer here is working with Parque Natural Monte Gordo , one of two national parks that are being funded by the United Nations. As Peace Corp volunteers, many of us have secondary projects aside from our main work. Outside of my work for Monte Gordo, I have held English classes for my community in Cachaço, organized a children’s soccer tournament, and conducted trash cleanup campaigns in various communities. I am most excited about organizing a Bicycle Safety and Awareness event for the island."

"During a weekend, two separate bike races will be held in the two main towns of the island, Ribeira Brava and Tarrafal. These bike races will be organized and sponsored by the Camara Municpal of each conchelo (and perhaps along with other local organizations such as the Centro de Juventude and ETMA). The race in R. Brava will go from the town center to Juncilhno and back. In Tarrafal, the race will go from town center to Praia Branca and back. It is my wish that the two winners receive new bikes."

"The need for this project stems from recent bicyclists being killed by motorists and from children dieing after falling off their bikes without helmets. Further, as the prices of oil soar and it becomes more expensive to travel by public transport, the bicycle is becoming a more viable option of travel for many of the island inhabitants. Thus, it is important now to provide information about how to be safe while riding and how to maintain a bicycle."

"I hope that with the visibility of the bike races and with the monthly bike repair workshops, those who currently bike ride will be encouraged to organize together for more events, which in turn may spur more locals to take up bike riding. Further, I hope that drivers on the island will become more aware that they must share the road with bicyclists thus increasing their safety. "

Boy on a bike.

Cape Verde T-Shirt

is helping to raise money for this project by selling a unique T-Shirt design. We created this design to help raise awareness of Cape Verde and their cycling program. The image is of a Cape Verden girl riding her bicycle with their flag in the background.

Proceeds from the sale of these shirts will help in the following ways:

- Bicycle Awareness Training - Bicycle Helmets - Bicycle Tools - Patch Kits - Tubes

"At the events, all will be welcome to signup for free bike repair workshops which will be held on the last Friday of each month (in line with Critical Mass). These classes will be taught by knowledgeable persons on the island (If enough funding is available, I would like to hold a training of trainers. A Cape Verdean with expert knowledge of bike repair from another island would be invited to teach the trainers beforehand.) Depending on funding or items donated, bike tools will be dispersed to trainers for the workshops."

"Taking into account the seasons here (Rainy season begins in July and ends in December) along with other factors, I foresee the event taking place in May 2009 in conjunction with Bicycle Month in America. Using this as a catalyst, I hope that bicycle organizations in America will be more likely to add their support for the event, supplying donations of any kind or simply helping create a dialogue with bicyclists here, giving them additional resources"

Please help us reach our goal of selling 100 shirts! This will raise enough money for hundreds of new bicycle helmets, bicycle repair classes, bicycle saftey posters, and bicycle races around two local towns!\

If you or your company would like to donate bicycle parts or supplies please contact us so we can work together.

We sincerely appreciate your support, it truly makes a difference.
- The SONADEI Team

I leave you with Ross' advice. After you buy a Cape Verde t-shirt, "And then, since you are already on a roll, take a walk, ride a bike, put yourself back into the cradle of nature that we have left behind when we built our little empire. Pick up one piece of trash; make the world we all share a better place. If we don’t love one another, who will?"

Happiness in cycling to all,


(PS- sorry if the formatting looked strange for some of the text; not sure how to get around that; believe me, I tried!)

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