We all know how fantastic bikes are, but sometimes we may not realise just how powerful bicycles can actually be. In many communities around the world, riding a bike isn’t just a luxury, it’s an integral part of living. It can mean the difference from being able to fetch water, or not. And it can be the difference between being able to attend school, or not. Sure, we all use bikes for different reasons, but for many people out there, a bicycle can be a life-changing tool.
To help provide these tools of change to communities in need, World Bicycle Relief has been fundraising for such causes since 2005, delivering hardy Buffalo bikes all around the globe. It’s a charity that we are more than happy to support and promote, because we’re all about sharing the love of bikes. In the case of World Bicycle Relief though, this is a gift that can truly have an empowering affect on somebody’s life.
Right now, World Bicycle Relief needs your help. The organisation is running it’s Christmas campaign called ‘A Way Forward‘, and it comes at the perfect time of year. If you’re looking for gift ideas for your cycling mates or family members and you don’t want to lather them with crappy socks and cheap department store crap, then this is the perfect heart-warming gift. You can donate whatever you like to World Bicycle Relief, but how’s this; just £95 will buy a Buffalo bicycle. If that’s all you need to hear, then head here to donate now.
Want to know just what it means for those receiving your donations? Then you MUST watch this video. It’s an inspiring story about the young students of Bukhaywa Secondary School in Kenya, and it highlights some of the many challenges they face in their journey to and from school – something we very much take for granted.
World Bicycle Relief announced the start of its annual Christmas appeal for donations that will provide life-changing Buffalo Bicycles to students living in rural developing countries.
All donations received now until 31 December 2016, will be matched pound-for-pound with the potential of delivering thousands of bicycles to students who are at risk of dropping out of school due to the challenge of distance and personal safety on the way to school.
This year’s campaign, A Way Forward, focuses attention on schoolgirls. Over 29 million girls around the world do not attend secondary school. Many factors contribute to girls dropping out of school in much higher numbers than boys: obligatory household chores, distance to school, sexual assault and child marriage. These barriers stand between young girls and bright futures. A high quality bicycle, such as a Buffalo Bicycle, can remove these barriers, keep girls in school and keep them safe as they travel to school.
World Bicycle Relief is committed to breaking down these barriers for girls, helping them achieve their educational goals and become change-makers within their communities and around the world. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals call for an improvement in quality of life for millions of people in developing countries with special attention placed on girls and women. As history has shown, when girls and women do better, the society as a whole does better. As stated by the UN in their declaration of 2015, “If effectively supported during the adolescent years, girls have the potential to change the world.” A crucial component of this support is education.
Data from UNESCO highlights that in poorer areas, girls are even less likely than boys to go to school. When girls do not get an education that makes them more likely to be poor for the rest of their lives. And girls in poor families are less likely to get an education to begin with – thus the system perpetuates itself. When this cycle is broken, there are long-term benefits for whole communities.
“I understand very well what girls go through to get an education. It is not easy, but it is possible. They have a lot of challenges, but if well taken care of, once the girls succeed in life, they play a big role in society. The dropout rate of the girls can be very high because of many factors. One of them we have observed is the long distance of going to school, especially when they are walking,” says the Honorable Ebbe Kavai, Minister of Education, Western Province of Kenya.
A Way Forward highlights the stories of schoolgirls attending the Bukhaywa Secondary School in Kenya who received Buffalo Bicycles in 2015 and 2016. One of the students, Dianah, is 18 years old and focused on her goal of becoming a college professor. Dianah’s parents and teachers believe in her future. Dianah’s mother remembers how she worried about her safety and how Dianah was often late to school because she was forced to walk.
“As a mother, I was fearing for Dianah so much. And I would feel that she might not even finish her education because of the risks facing her on the way. Now that she has the bicycle, I have never worried about Dianah’s going and coming back from school,” says Rofina, Dianah’s mother.
Monica Mudonidongo, the Vice Principal of the Bukhaywa Secondary School has seen a dramatic change in student attendance and academic achievement since the Buffalo bicycles were introduced. She commented: “We are now able to keep all of the girls in school and prevent early pregnancies and marriages. Once the students are educated, we will get more doctors, nurses – the whole community will come up.”
Over the past ten years, World Bicycle Relief has mobilised students, especially girls, who face long, difficult and often dangerous journeys to school. World Bicycle Relief believes a simple, sturdy bicycle has the power to change lives. By providing a girl a way to get to school safely, she’s empowered to stay in school, get an education and break through the limitations holding her back. World Bicycle Relief is confident that the power of bicycles can play an influential role in progress for girls in Kenya and other developing countries.
World Bicycle Relief is urging people to make A Way Forward by changing the future for thousands of bright, dedicated and passionate girls who will achieve great things for themselves and the world given the opportunity and access to an education.
For more information on the campaign and World Bicycle Relief, head here: https://worldbicyclerelief.org/forward
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