On August 9th, 2017, a shipping container filled with books, educational materials, bikes, helmets, and other supplies left Washington State for a 9,500-mile journey to Africa.
These supplies had been gathered for months by local missionaries Tricia and Kelly Huckaby as part of their work with ACTION Zambia. They operate a 19-acre rural property in Lusaka, Zambia, Ciyanjano Christian Campground, a retreat/conference/camping ministry for the churches and people from the slums of Lusaka, Zambia’s capitol city.
Among the supplies in that shipping container were 24 bicycles donated by the Marysville Police Department and reconditioned or repaired by Officer Joe Belleme. At Ciyanjano, only one staff member owns a car. Public Transportation is time-consuming, expensive, and reportedly dangerous.
Christmas came early on November 10th, 2017 when each of the 14 staff members of Ciyanjano Christian Campground was given a bicycle and a helmet so that they could commute to work or run errands. The staff also delivered 10 children’s bicycles and helmets to a local orphanage.
“Though it’s something we often take for granted here in the United States,” said Officer Belleme, “a bicycle is life-changing in Zambia.”
Bicycles found by citizens or discovered abandoned or discarded by officers are often brought to the police department, booked for safekeeping as “found property,” and held for 90 days in case an owner comes forward to claim the bike. Unclaimed bicycles are annually donated to various charitable and non-profit organizations. We are thrilled to have been involved in this past year’s donation of bicycles to an amazing group of people on the other side of the globe.