World Bicycle Relief has announced the start of its annual Christmas appeal for donations that will provide Buffalo Bicycles to students living in rural developing countries.
All donations received from now until December 31st 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 can remove these barriers, keep girls in school and keep them safe as they travel to school.
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.
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.
Data from UNESCO highlights that in poorer areas, girls are less likely than boys to go to school. When girls do not get an education that makes them more likely to live in poverty for the rest of their lives. Girls in poor families are also less likely to get an education to begin with.
“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 to school, especially when they are walking,” says the Honorable Ebbe Kavai, minister of education, Western Province of Kenya.
Monica Mudonidongo, the vice principal of Bukhaywa Secondary School, commented on the change that the Buffalo Bicycles have spurred at the institution: “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.”
World Bicycle Relief is urging people to make A Way Forwardby changing the future for thousands of girls who by giving them the opportunity and access to an education.