Women helping Women
This International Women’s Day
help women living in poverty achieve their education and business dreams with
World Bicycle Relief
International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. However, women and girls living in rural areas in developing countries are three times more likely to lack education, with 29 million girls around the world not in secondary school.
World Bicycle Relief is helping girls living in poverty to access education by mobilising them through use of a bicycle. Many girl students in rural areas walk up to 2 ½ hours to get to school which often results in irregular attendance and even drop-outs. A Buffalo Bicycle, built for the rough terrain and easy to repair, helps them overcome distance and other hurdles (such as violence and sexual assault) while travelling 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. When women in poverty-stricken countries are educated it has a positive impact on the whole community – as reported by UNESCO in 2013:
-For every extra year of primary school, a girl’s wages increase on average 10 – 20 percent.
-In sub-Saharan Africa, if all women completed primary education, maternal deaths would be reduced by 70%, saving almost 50,000 lives.
-Mothers’ education improves child nutrition. If all women had a secondary education,12 million children would be saved from stunting from malnutrition.
-Girls with higher levels of education are less likely to get married at an early age. If all girls had a secondary education, there would be two-thirds fewer child marriages.
World Bicycle Relief Australia is part of a global not-for-profit organisation that mobilises people in developing countries through the Power of Bicycles®. World Bicycle Relief (WBR) provides its recipients Buffalo Bicycles, which are purpose-built for the rural terrain, sturdy, and easy to maintain. The representative cost of a Buffalo Bicycle is $195. A donation, in any amount, contributes to providing more bicycles to students, healthcare workers and entrepreneurs. WBR trains field mechanics and employs local bike assemblers, to ensure the program receives ongoing support once bikes are donated.
The provision of Buffalo Bicycles to students has a measurable impact including the ability for an individual to cover four times the distance in the same time when riding a bike, and the fact that for every 10 miles, three hours of time is saved on a Buffalo Bicycle. Students who have access to a bike have increased school attendance by 28%, and their academic performance has improved by 59%.
In the 13 years since World Bicycle Relief began it has provided over 390,000 Buffalo Bicycles in 19 countries and trained over 1,800 field mechanics.
Priscah received a bicycle while she was in grade six at Chikanda Basic School in Mumbwa District, Zambia. Before her bicycle, Priscah would wake at 5 a.m. to walk the 8km to school in time for class at 7 a.m. She could not attend to morning chores at home because of the distance ahead of her. Priscah often ran to school in an effort to be punctual but frequently arrived late anyway.
As punishment for late attendance, Priscah was tasked with completing chores while class was in session. Even when she made it to school on time, her exhaustion made learning difficult. “I used to be tired, doze off and lacked concentration in class,” she said. Priscah also suffered from anxiety about falling behind in her studies.
After receiving a Buffalo Bicycle, Priscah was able to get an extra hour of sleep each morning and take care of her morning chores. After school, she would use the bicycle to fetch water, wash dishes and get home in time to study in the daylight. Her younger brother, Prince, would get a ride to and from the same school on the bicycle’s carrier.
Priscah now dreams of becoming a doctor. After her graduation from primary school, her bicycle was passed down to her brother. It has since been passed on to the next oldest sibling, who ferries two younger siblings on the back of the strong bicycle. The students travel 16 km round trip each school day. Priscah’s parents were so inspired by the power of the bicycle to change their lives that they purchased a second Buffalo Bicycle for other siblings to use. All of their children are now at the top of their classes.
About World Bicycle Relief:
Founded in 2005, World Bicycle Relief mobilizes 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 375,000 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., Germany and Australia, and has assembly facilities in Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Angola.