World Bicycle Relief (WBR), the charity that provides specially designed super-rugged bikes to help get people in developing countries mobile, has launched a campaign that will see any donations made by the public before December the 31st matched up to $1.7M (£1.3M) matched. To put it simply a £95 donation is usually enough to buy one Buffalo Bike but until the end of the year it’ll provide two!
This year’s campaign, Together We Rise, highlights Umoja Secondary School in Eldoret, Kenya, where children of Christian, Muslim and traditional African faiths study together and embody their motto – “Together We Rise.”
Like millions of children across rural Africa, many students at Umoja Secondary School endure long walks to school that put their academic futures at risk. Girl students face even more obstacles accessing an education- hours of obligatory domestic chores and the threat of sexual assault on the way to school. On top of these daunting challenges, Muslim girls in this region also confront cultural expectations; traditionally they are not allowed to ride bicycles.
When Umoja Secondary School received bicycles in 2016, a group of Muslim and Christian girls, together, chose to challenge the cultural expectations that confined them. This year’s campaign highlights how these young girls conquered their fears, pushed past cultural restraints and boldly pursued their academic goals on two wheels. With bicycles, girl students not only conquered the challenge of distance, but also tapped into a newfound confidence and independence that came with riding a bike. Riding together also led to new friendships among students.
“Owning a bicycle has changed my life a lot. I have come to face the world. It has helped me be confident. We can be ourselves, not what people want us to be,” said Ayan, a student at Umoja Secondary School.
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.
Founded in 2005, World Bicycle Relief mobilises people through The Power of Bicycles®. World Bicycle Relief accomplishes its mission by distributing specially designed, high quality bicycles through philanthropic and social enterprise programs. These purpose designed bicycles are built to withstand the challenging terrain and conditions in rural, developing areas. Entrepreneurs use the bicycles to increase productivity and profits. Students attend class more regularly and their academic performances improve. And, health care workers visit more patients in less time, providing better, more consistent care. World Bicycle Relief also promotes local economies and long-term sustainability by assembling bicycles locally and training field mechanics to service the bicycles. To date, World Bicycle Relief has delivered over 370,000 bicycles and trained over 1,800 field mechanics in Africa, Southeast Asia and South America. World Bicycle Relief is a registered nonprofit in USA, Canada, U.K. and Germany, and has assembly facilities in Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Africa and Angola.