Cadbury Canada announced this week the delivery of 5,000 bikes to children in Ghana, Africa as part of its innovative consumer promotion called The Bicycle Factory. The bikes will reach more than 200 communities in central and southern Ghana and will provide access to education to thousands of kids who would normally be at risk of not going to school.
In addition to providing kids with a reliable form of transportation to get to school, the bikes will also provide each community with access to water sources and medical care. Many of the 216 communities are part of the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership, a ground-breaking program established in 2008 to help the social, economic and environmental sustainability of approximately 1 million cocoa farms.
“Cadbury has been rooted in Ghana for more than a century and through this program, we are directly impacting the lives of children and the farming communities that help provide the cocoa beans that go directly into our Cadbury chocolate,” says Gary Scullion, General Manager, Cadbury Canada. “Each bike also represents the good will and support of thousands of Canadians who were instrumental in helping us achieve our goal, and who were inspired to help make a difference a half world away.”
Delivering Hope and a Future
Cadbury worked closely with World Vision Ghana, Care, the Voluntary Services Organization and the Bicycling Empowerment Network Namibia to ensure the effective distribution of the bicycles. With the need for bikes great in all regions, the team identified the children most at risk were those that walked a minimum of 3 km to school each day. The bikes are also specially designed for the African terrain. They are equipped with a single gear and mud guards, have a basket for carrying books, and have a sturdy carrier to also help carry little brothers and sisters to school.
According to the United Nations, more than 40 million African children are growing up without schooling***. “In Africa, a bicycle is hope, freedom and survival,” says Michael Linke, on-the-ground activist in Africa and founder of Bicycling Empowerment Network (BEN) Namibia. BEN Namibia distributes bicycles to community-based organizations, volunteers and directly to those in need. “A single bike can carry up to five times the weight, go four times as fast and travel four times as far as a person walking and it can change a personÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s life and a communityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s future.” Access to a bicycle means greater independence and increased social, economic and educational opportunities.
The 5,000 bikes will be delivered to the specified regions over the next four weeks with the help of the Bicycling Empowerment Network Namibia. With each delivery Cadbury is also investing in bike-building and training sessions for key individuals in each community. “By providing the skills and the training needed to build a bike, these individuals can in turn teach the children how to assemble and maintain a bike, therefore helping extend the life cycle of each bicycle and ensuring future access to school and other needs in the community,” added Scullion.
Canadians Pedal for Change
Launched earlier this year, The Bicycle Factory converted Cadbury product purchases into bicycle parts with the aim of building 5,000 bicycles for Africa. The promotion came to life with an online, virtual factory at www.thebicyclefactory.ca where every Cadbury UPC code entered equalled a bicycle part and for every 100 UPC codes entered, a bike would be built.
The Bicycle Factory* promotion also gave one lucky Canadian the opportunity to become a Cadbury ambassador. The lucky winner from Edmonton, Albert is currently in Ghana with the Cadbury team to see the delivery of the first bikes.
“Cadbury brings joy to the lives of Canadians every day with our small indulgences,” says Scullion. “Now, with the delivery of a bike to a child, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re bringing joy and smiles to thousands of children and weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re helping create a life time of change by opening the doors to education, and that makes every Cadbury colleague smile proudly with joy.”
About The Cadbury Cocoa Partnership
In January 2008, the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership was established together with the United Nations Development Programme, local governments, farmers and communities, and it is the largest sustainable cocoa farming program in existence. This ground-breaking initiative is designed to secure the economic, social and environmental sustainability of one million cocoa farmers and their communities in Ghana, India, Indonesia and the Caribbean. Cadbury is already building wells and libraries, fostering micro-finance loans, and developing long-term programs to encourage biodiversity and sustainable cocoa growing. Cadbury is investing more than $80 million CDN over the next ten years through the partnership and estimates that it will make a difference in the lives of half-a-million cocoa farmers in Ghana by 2018. For more information, visit www.dearcadbury.com.
About Cadbury North America
Headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey with the Canadian head office in Toronto, Cadbury North America is the Canadian and U.S. combined business of Cadbury plc Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a leading global confectionery business with number one or number two positions in over 20 of the world’s 50 largest confectionery markets. In Canada, Cadbury is the country’s second largest confectionery company and the brand portfolio includes some of Canada’s best-loved chocolate, candy, cough and gum brands such as Dairy Milk*, Caramilk*, Mr. Big*, Dentyne*, Trident*, Stride*, Bubblicious*, Halls*, and Maynards*. In Canada, some Cadbury “firsts” include the first 100 calorie chocolate bar (Cadbury Thins*), the first sugar-free breath freshening gum (Dentyne*) and the first liquid centre pellet gum with dual flavour combinations (Trident Splash*). Our people create brands people love with passion, dedication and drive. For more information visit www.canada.cadbury.com.