Fixing a broken bike is all in a day’s work.
Robert Barron has been collecting old and broken bikes for the past few years, repairing anything he can get his hands on.
But his repairs will be touching lives overseas.
The owner of Langford’s Re-Buy-Cycle Shops plans to send a 40-foot container of bicycles to Nansana, a district in the city of Kampala, Uganda.
“A bike is the difference between employment and unemployment,” says Jocelyn Samek, Barron’s girlfriend and inspiration for the plan.
“It means being able to get to the doctor, and to school and back.”
Samek works with youth organizations in Uganda.
One of the groups, Nansana Stop the Violence Movement, teaches hip-hop to young kids to avoid gang involvement and violence.
“Certainly our youth leadership over there is resilient, and that’s what it’s all about,” says Samek.
“We just know that day [to travel to Uganda] is coming. The passports are ready, the shots have been taken.”
Originally, the duo planned their trip in 2018.
But it’s been pushed back time after time, most recently due to health issues with a close family member.
Now, they’re planning to go in February 2020.
“I’ve always believed that things happen for a reason,” says Barron.
“I believed that there’s some reason why it’s been delayed and people are getting involved now. It seems to be the time.”
Now, it’s the bikes that have been slowing them down.
Re-Buy-Cycle Shop’s property is full of hundreds of bicycles that still need to be repaired.
“Space has been a massive problem,” says Barron.
“We’ve got so many donations coming in, but we don’t have the people we need to be able to process all the stuff go through here.”
They need to raise $25,000 to ship the containers once they’re ready to go.
As of June 2019, they’ve only raised $2,000, but they’re optimistic.
“The more help we get the more people we can help,” says Barron.
If you’re handy and willing to roll up your sleeves, just call Re-Buy-Cycle Shop in Langford.