Vanuatuan seasonal workers appreciate being able to borrow
bikes to use during their stay in Central Otago, and Clyde
man Frits Wouters (second from right) is asking more people
to donate roadworthy bikes. Fruitpickers at an Earnscleugh
orchard (from left) Morris Kalo, George Manuake, Blaise
Waki and Sael Valagailos say the bikes make a huge
difference to how they use their leisure time. Photo by
Lynda van Kempen.
Clyde man Frits Wouters is calling for offers of
second-hand bikes to benefit Vanuatuan seasonal workers in
Mr Wouters (75), an unofficial volunteer for the visitors
from Vanuatu, is on a mission to provide them with transport
during their stay in the district.
He said many of the foreign workers on orchards in the
Clyde-Earnscleugh area had to walk or hitchhike into
Alexandra when they fancied a trip to town, as they had no
other option for getting there.
''If I was in Vanuatu, I'd probably appreciate it, too, if I
was stuck,'' Mr Wouters said of his fledgling scheme.
So far, he has been offered just a couple of bikes, but he
was confident there were many more gathering dust in people's
garages and garden sheds which could be donated and put to
One Vanuatuan orchard worker who had already been presented
with a recycled ride was ''very happy'' to be spared the long
walk to Alexandra, Mr Wouters said.
The bikes would remain in Central Otago once the seasonal
staff had departed and be offered to next year's influx of
The bike appeal is not the first time Mr Wouters has helped
others with a public plea for donated goods.
A few years ago, he spearheaded a project to ship 3000 books
donated by Central Otago people to schoolchildren in Ghana,
West Africa, after he travelled there and saw first-hand the
poverty of the developing country and the lack of education