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  • Writer's pictureThis Is Rutherford

Event Recap: Pedals for Progress

By Jennifer Ersalesi

Photo credits: Beverly Khan and

This past Saturday, October 19th, the Junior Woman’s Club of Rutherford hosted Pedals for Progress at the Woman’s Club from 12 to 3 pm. Junior Woman’s Club volunteers assisted one of the members of Pedals for Progress by collecting bicycles and preparing them for shipment overseas. Sewing machines were also collected for Sewing Peace, which is part of this expanding program. For more information on these efforts, please visit their website.

Hilary Alberts, Gina Viviano, Jennifer Ersalesi and Beverly Khan

Generous community members dropped off used bicycles to the Woman’s Club that will be sent overseas for individuals in low income areas that need bicycles for transportation, work and school purposes. Used sewing machines were also donated and will be sent overseas to help communities have better access to working opportunities.

A member of the Pedals for Progress team picked up the bicycles and sewing machines at the conclusion of the event. He explained that all of the donated bicycles and sewing machines will be shipped to Albania and Togo.

Junior Woman's Club Coordinator of this event explained, "Recently, with bikes from Pedals for Progress, the partner organizations in Albania have basically transformed Tirana into a bike friendly city with lots of bike lanes. They plan on opening a bike school soon to teach people how to bike and how to repair bikes which creates jobs."

Under the traditional laws of The Kanun of Lek Dukagjini, murder is sanctioned in blood feuds, which means women and children cannot leave their homes or they will be killed. The children living in these confined households in Malesia e Madhe, where the sewing machines were delivered, are deprived of education and socialization. The women living in seclusion find it difficult to properly care for their families. Sewing machines that were donated to these women allow them the opportunity to provide for their families. Bicycles were also donated to the children in this community. The children are able to ride the donated bicycles in their backyards, which gives them the ability to spend time outdoors enjoying a recreational activity.

Hilary Alberts was proud to organize this event as part of the Junior Woman's Club International Outreach Initiative. There were twenty-three bicycles donated and nine sewing machines. "We were very excited to see the community come out and support this wonderful program and we thank all of those who donated bicycles and/or sewing machines."

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