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Young Boy Starts Bicycle Donation Initiative To Africa

A young boy in the Washington, DC, area has started his own bicycle donation project for Africans. Winston Duncan is an 11-year-old elementary school student in Arlington, Virginia. He’s started a non-profit group called “Wheels to Africa.” Voice of America reporter Cole Mallard reached Winston by telephone at his home. Winston said the project got started when he and his family were driving through Swaziland toward Kruger National Park on vacation in Africa last summer. He says he noticed people in need, walking everywhere. He also noticed “how happy they were to get the slightest little gift” and that an older lady, apparently in poor health, needed transportation. Duncan says that’s when he thought of Bikes for the Poor, because, “Well, we can’t get cars … that’s way too expensive, and too bulky.”

Winston says he’s overwhelmed by the response and by all the publicity from the Voice of America, CNN, the Washington Post and community newspaper coverage. He says with only one advertised collection they got more than 200 bikes and that people still call, hoping to donate bikes, having learned of the collection after the fact. Winston says he hopes to go nationwide, wanting to tap into scouting and youth sports organizations to help him continue. He plans another “really, really big bike collection” for the spring of next year, 2006. Winston says he’s also applied for a $500 grant from the Disney Youth Service America. He urges people to visit his site on the World Wide Web ( and to send comments. Winston says, “One more reason I’m doing this is I want people in Africa to enjoy life, and not always have to work, and people to have [a] happy life, peace and enjoy their life and not dread it.”