mobility = opportunity
A bicycle in the hands of an African student changes everything. Our Bicycles for Educational Empowerment Program is providing 50,000 bikes to students (70% girls), teachers and education workers in rural Africa.
Students with bikes arrive at school on time, safe and ready to learn. Local community committees select those students most in need and oversee bicycle use. Program studies consistently find that grades and attendance rates improve after students receive bicycles. Recipients learn about bicycle safety and sign a contract agreeing to use the bike to attend school regularly. Students' families also benefit from using the bike when school is not in session. For example, a 2012 survey in one community found that clinic visits for children under 5 more than doubled. This was attributed to the bicycles, as mothers were more easily able to bring young children for vaccinations and treatment.
Before she owned a bicycle 15-year-old Ethel walked more than two hours across hilly terrain each day to attend school. With a bike, her commute now takes 45 minutes. She's happy to arrive at school on time to pursue her goal of becoming a nurse. In addition to setting an example as a successful student, Ethel has mobilized her community by using her bicycle to transport fellow classmates to school.