April 07, 2009

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By Kyle Winslow

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Bicycles Against Poverty (BAP), a Bucknell University student group working to spread awareness of the crises in northern Uganda, is hosting "Bands and Bikes," a benefit event on Saturday, April 18, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Hufnagle Park in Lewisburg.

The event will include musical performances by Bucknell student groups such as Beyond Unison and the Bison Chips, as well as local favorite Earl Pickens. Other activities include African dance performances, carnival games and Olympic-style games such as a pie-eating contest, water balloon toss, and wacky cyclist relay. 

"We are tying the theme of bicycles into the day throughout numerous events, including a bicycle parade for kids, a silent bike auction, and a bicycle trick exhibition," said Bucknell sophomore and member of BAP Alexandra Blumenstock.

Donations appreciated
The suggested donation for the Bands and Bikes event is $3; some events will require entrance fees, and donations will be collected in several other locations throughout the park. Proceeds from the silent bike auction and food sales also will benefit BAP.

Rock and roll
Bicycles Against Poverty hopes to raise money and awareness for its program, whose goal is to provide bicycles for low-income families in Gulu District, Uganda.

"The Bands and Bikes event is not solely for fundraising but also to draw attention to both the Bicycles Against Poverty project and the situation in Uganda. Our goal is to create a self-sustaining project so the Ugandans are not dependent on future aid," Blumenstock said.

The event in downtown Lewisburg will provide an opportunity for BAP to educate the campus and local residents about its work with the global community. Representatives from BAP will be on hand to offer information about the program, including Bucknell sophomore and BAP founder Muyambi Muyambi.

Over two decades of war
Parts of northern Uganda where Gulu is located have been at war for the last 22 years, leaving communities in economic shambles and with scant social or political resources. To make matters worse, the remote location of settlements makes travel extremely hard since motorized transportation is scarce and unaffordable.

The Bicycles Against Poverty program proposes to lessen the hardships of Ugandans by providing them with a means for community cooperation, mobility and economic development. Bicycles would provide low-income families with many opportunities, from obtaining water to getting heath care. A group of Bucknell students and faculty traveling to Uganda during the summer of 2009 will initiate the project on the ground. || Related story: BAP receives Davis Projects for Peace grant.

Kyle Winslow, a senior majoring in English, is an intern in the Office of Communications

Contact: Division of Communications