Keeping In Touch

As hinted to in the previous post, ”Delivering the message is important.” No matter what goodies, or gifts one send to a person, the wishes that accompany it are arguably more important than the gift itself. This same connection applies to the letters the students of Chepyuan and Vasaramäki exchange with one another.

On our most recent last visit to our partner school in Chepyuan we had the pleasure of delivering letters from the students of Vasaramäki to the students of Chepyuan with the school bags that the students, parents and staff of Vasaramäen koulu had donated.

As a teacher, it was quite special to see and hear our Vasaramäki sutdent’s letters being read in the school yard at Chepyuan Primary. Connecting children thousands of kilometers and worlds apart. On the second day of our visit at Chepyuan the students were excited to answer your letters with letters of their own. In the Gallery below you can read some of their letters.

Greetings from Chepyuan! The Bikes have arrived!

It is hard to do justice in writing to all the experiences shared Vasaramäki school’s Kenyan partners. However, as one of our colleagues in Kenya said, ”We are a living testimony, delivering the message is very important”

Rather than bore you with one long chronological dump. We’ll try to share the spoken and unspoken messages from Chepyuan, Mogotio and Kenya in digestible chunks of food for thought. Please follow the blog as we try our best to accurately tell the story and faithfully convey the messages of the teachers, parents, students and social workers at Chepyuan school.


First I’d like to give you some of the freshest news from Chepyuan school that directly relates to the fundraising actions of students and parents at Vasaramäki school: Bicycles for Chepyuan and the bicycle repair workshop.

The condition of the bikes in Chepyuan confirmed that the students are in need of bicycles that are purpose built to carry heavy loads and ride on tough roads. To begin to meet this need we ordered two Buffalo Bikes, which are built by Kenyan workers in Kisumu. When later in this story you see the bikes the students repaired, you will understand why strong bikes are necessary.

Chepyuan’s bicycles arrived just as the Finnish school year ended and the Kenyan school year was in full swing. Principal Jackson decided that it would be best to give a bike to the 8th form girl and boy student with the best grades. And without further ado, here are their messages:



One of the things we arranged to do while at Chepyuan school was to hold a bicycle repair workshop at the school with the students. In preparation for the workshop, Holivers, one of the coordinators in Mogotio, purchased some tools and spare parts locally and Chris brought some from Finland. All of these now stay at school in a toolbox made for the purpose.

We told the student’s and parents of Chepyuan that they could bring any bikes and parts from home to work on at school. The students’ response was great and they arrived the next morning with a number of bikes in various states of repair.

The students’ challenge was set. With Amos’s guidance we held a brief introduction to the tools and a demonstration on changing a tire. After that the students moved into groups and began all manners of repair on their friends’ bicycles. 

One classroom and the schoolyard were turned into a big workshop as the students made a valiant effort to get bikes rolling again with the materials they had. It didn’t take long before all of our spare parts were used, but work continued well into the afternoon as punctures were repaired, wheels were straightened, pedals patched together, and chains were oiled.

Regardless of how many bikes were repaired, the group effort and resourcefulness exhibited by Chepyuan students and teachers proves that much can be accomplished with determination and teamwork. Thank 


Help with an English letter / Apua englannin kirjeen kanssa

If you are sending a cloth bag along to a student in Mogotio, why not send along a small card as well? Even if you are not sending a bag, send a letter to brighten someones day! Naturally, you will need to write in Swahili or English. Here are some tips for English.


My name is (Oma nimesi) I am a (luokka numero) grade student at Vasaramäki School in Turku. I (walk / ride the bus / ride my bike / get a ride) to school everyday.

One of my favorite things to learn at school is (kouluaine). When I have free time I like to (ajanvietto / harrastus).

I have drawn a picture of (sinun kuvan aihe) for you on my card.

I hope that you have a wonderful school year and learn lots of interesting things with your friends.

All the best,

(Oma nimesi)


Remember how nice it is to get a card in the mail! Think of making someone else smile when they read your letter!


Bike Shop Spring 2018 / Pajassa Kevät 2018

Tuomas’s  first edition ’long horn’ bike rack is solid and ready for students to use.

This spring session, Tuomas (VAS 4B & shop teacher) and Chris (Enku) will arrange a workshop day where we’ll try to have our volunteers meet each other and we’ll talk about the different jobs around the bike workshop.

We can use your help anytime! Students and parents alike, come in and volunteer. There’s a lot more than just wrenching. There’s public outreach, designing, painting, blogging, polishing, marketing, bookkeeping asking for donations of materials and work… There’s always something to be done 😉

A volunteer’s paint scheme is beginning to take shape. Keep an eye out for the finished bike around March.

Please get in touch with Tuomas or Chris in the hall, call us, or send us a message via your favorite medium, be it WILMA, SMS, or Email.

tuomas.auremaa(at) 040 764 7019
christopher.keith(at)  045 134 4437

Autumn 2017 donations. Late News but Great News

At the autumn assembly VAS primary school students donated enough money for our Chepyuan partner school to purchase 2-3 bikes and materials to help maintain them.

One task the VAS team visiting this spring has is to deliver the bikes and help set up a spot where the Chepyuan school staff and students can maintain their bicycles.

Thank you again students and parents for your effort!

Vasaramäki and Chepyuan School Bike Stickers

Use your imagination to design a sticker for our VAS/Chepyua bikes. Designs that are chosen will be printed into tough vinyl decals. They will be put on every bike we make in the bike workshop and on the bikes built at Chepyuan school in Kenya.

Idea:  Kenya’s flag is Red, White, Black and Green. Use the words “Vasaramäki” and “Chepyuan” school.

Bike Sticker worksheet

Käytä mielikuvitustasi ja suunnittele tarroja meidän VAS/Chepyua polkupyörille. Valitut mallit “designs” tulostetaan kestävälle tarralle. Tarrat liimataan kunnostettuihin pyöriin ja niihin pyöriin jotka kunnostetaan yhteistyökoulussamme Keniassa.

Idea: Kenian lippu on punainen, valkoinen, musta, ja vihreä. Käytä sanoja ”Vasaramäki” and ”Chepyuan” school.

Palauta mallit Hannalle, Chrisille, Tuijalle, Assille, tai Jyrkille.

The bike workshop is know in the Syreeni building / Polkupyörä paja on nyt Syreenissa!

Vasaramäki/Chepyuan pyöräpaja on nyt päässyt vauhtiin Syreenin luokassa 26 (vanhaa jumppasalia vastapäätä). Koroisten Maailmanpyörä on ollut suureksi avuksi ja tukenut projektin alkumetrejä tiedoillaan ja työkaluillaan. Nyt olemme tuoneet pajan Vasaramäkeen, lähemmäksi oppilaita ja auttavia käsiä!

The Vasaramäki/Chepyuan bike workshop is know set up in the Syreeni school building in room 26 — across the the hallway from the gymnasium stage entrance door. Koroinen maailmanpyörä is very helpful and supportive of our Chepyuan bikes project but to make it easier for Vasaramäki students to get hands-on with the project we’ve brought it closer to home!

Kaikenlainen apu on tarpeen ja tervetullutta! Jos et ole innostunut pyörän rassauksesta tai et halua käsiäsi rasvaiseksi, voit silti olla avuksi ja mukana yhteisessä projektissa. Työkalujen järjestäminen, blogin ylläpito, lahjoitusten kerääminen ja mainosten suunnittelu ovat myös osa projektia.

All kinds of volunteers are needed and welcome! Not all tasks require greasing up bikes. There are plenty of things that will need to be done besides repairing bikes. Anything from organizing tools and donations to making advertisements and updating the VAS/Chepyuan blog.

Projektin alkuunsaattamiseksi Chris on pyöräpajalla torstaisin klo 12.30-13.45. Tule mukaan yhteiseen projektiin rakentamaan pyöriä hyvän asian puolesta tai pysähdy vaan hetkeksi juttelemaan ja ihmettelemään 🙂 Myös muista ajoista voidaan tarvittaessa sopia jos olet kiinnostunut eikä torstain aika ei sovi aikatauluusi.

For starters, Chris will be in the workshop on Thursdays from 12:30 to about 13:45. If you’ve got the time and want to get involved just stop in. If that time doesn’t suit you, then get in touch and we’ll find a time and a way for you to help out.

All donations welcome and accepted: Kaikki lahjoitukset ovat tervetulleita!

Olemme saaneet hankkia joitakin työkaluja alkuunpääsemiseksi, mutta tarvitsemme vielä lisää työskentelyn edetessä. Lisäksi haluamme varmistaa, että ystävyyskoulumme Mogotiossa saa täyden setin työkaluja huoltaakseen ja korjatakseen pyöriä, joita tämän projektin tuotoilla heille hankitaan. Rahalahjoitusten lisäksi otamme mielellämme vastaan työkaluja sekä polkupyöriä huutokaupattavaksi, jotta projekti saadaan kunnolla vauhtiin. Ohessa lista, josta voit katsoa halutessasi mitä työkaluja pahaan vielä kaivataan.

While we had money to purchase some tools, we will be needing more as the workshop’s current set is limited and we need to make sure our partner school in Mogotio will have a full set of tools to maintain the bikes we get for them. Besides monetary donations to the VAS/Chepyuan fund, donating tools and old bikes for repair and auction are necessary to keep the program going.

If you want to donate the specific tools that the workshop and our partner school need you can take a look at the list or contact Chris. (BTW toolsdon’t need to be new — just working, so have a look around the storage.

Polkupyöriä kunnostetaan maailman pyörässä/Bikes to be repaired at Koroinen

Kunnostamme pyöriä Koroinen maailmanpyörän henkilökuntien avustuksella. Mikä päivä vaan on hyvä päivä kunnostaa meidän Vasaramäki/Chepyuan pyörät! Jos olet kiinnostunut auttamaan, ota yhteyttä Chrisiin: christopher.keith(@) tai 045 134 4437 ja sovitaan hyvä aika.

We are repairing and building bikes now with the help of the staff at Koroinen maailmapyörä. Any day of the week is a good day to go work on the Vasaramäki/Chepyuan project bikes! If you are interested in working on the bikes contact Chris christopher.keith(@) tai 045 134 4437 and we’ll arrange a time to go in and work on them.

A call for volunteers. Vapaaehtoistyöntekijöitä etsitään

Vasaramäki School’s Kenya team is looking for volunteers from our school to help build bikes for our partner school Chepyuan Primary School in Mogotio, Kenya. Some of the bikes built by us here in Turku will be shipped off to our partner school in Kenya and some will be auctioned here in Turku to raise funds to purchase bicycle tools for our partner school.

You do not need to know anything about bicycle repair to help out. All that’s required is a desire to help and a willingness get your hands dirty. We promise you’ll at least learn the basics of bicycle repair. We will be coordinating days and times with different bicycle workshops in Turku. We will begin our project this summer with the aim to maintain the program in the future. Come and be one of the founders.

If you are interested in helping or with old bicycle donations contact English teacher Chris Keith.

christopher.keith(at) or 045 134 4437

Sama suomeksi P.S. Enku ei tarve puhua saa kysyä ja osallistua suomeksi!