The Covid-19 pandemic, with all the limitations it has imposed on us, expanding the list of things we cannot do and places we cannot go to, could very well be an excuse for us to slow down or even to all together stop.
Instead, it has spurred us to hasten our pace, to think up more ways to get things done, to stretch our mental and heart muscles as well as our resources to bring more help to more people. The pandemic has brought home the message that Rotary allows no rest (it’s a 24-hour job, as a past president once said and as Pres. Peter Manzano is now discovering) and that the more difficult the situation, the harder Rotarians must work. Indeed, that we must work more than ever the harder times get, particularly for the people who depend on us for help.
This year, Pres. Peter decided to spread our service wings wider to reach more of our kababayan who have been most impacted by the losses brought on by the pandemic, losses that have made it more burdensome to put food on the table and maintain the little roof above their heads.
His preferred manner of spreading RCMakati’s wings is by partnering with other clubs on projects under Rotary’s 7 Areas of Focus.
On such project is Bike2WorkBuddies, a livelihood project designed to benefit low-income families in Paranaque-- heads of families, breadwinners, displaced workers who need a bicycle for their chosen self-employment, government employees like barangay tanods, security guards, janitors, street cleaners, construction workers, restaurant cooks and service crew, market vendors, and ambulant vendors, all known to walk to and from work.
Launched last October 3rd at the BF Homes Pavilion in Paranaque City, Bike2WorkBuddies (B2WB) is a joint project of RC Makati with four Paranaque clubs—RC Paranaque Metro, represented at the launch by Pres. Wheng Reyes and PP Lilibeth dela Cruz, RC Paranaque Metro South, represented by Pres. Rose Velarde and IPP Brenda del Rosario, RC Paranaque Midtown, represented by Pres. Nicole Balinas, and RC Paranaque St. Andrew, represented by Pres. Dani Delfin. Also present with Pres. Peter Manzano were First Ann Pam and Rtn. Sonny Tambunting Jr.
The project has several components—one, the donation of brand-new bicycles to 55 beneficiaries selected by the participant RCs; a rapid savings mobilization scheme under which the recipients will donate amounts to build a fund to be used for community projects; community service under which the recipients will be invited to volunteer in Rotary projects.
Total budget for the project is P340,000, half of which was RC Makati’s contribution, with the rest shared by the four other participant clubs.
The bikes, all brand new, are MARU Yamato 26” standard size carbon steel frame, 7 gear, with a V brake; equipped with standard safety helmets, lights, and bike locks.
The beneficiaries are required to complete a learning session, online or face-to-face, on responsible cycling and sign an undertaking to abide by the Rotary Cyclist’s Creed. They shall also attend a one-day seminar to get them oriented on the Rapid Savings Mobilization Campaign. The funds generated by the savings groups shall be used as a “pay-forward” scheme for the continuation of the “Bike2Work Buddies” project; they may also opt to use part the funds to develop entrepreneurial activities for their respective groups.