Life-changing bicycles provided by donations raised in July will help Zambian students travel to school in less time and improve academic outcomes
World Bicycle Relief recently announced Wheels in the Field: Zambia, The Next Generation, its July campaign to raise funds and provide life-changing bicycles for students in need. All funds raised in July, up to $240,000, will be matched dollar for dollar by a group of generous individual supporters as well as Backroads and Thomson Reuters.
Over four million children live in poverty in Zambia and over 375,000 children in rural regions are not enrolled in school. Many factors contribute to children not attending school. For rural students, a common and significant barrier to accessing education is distance; students often face long, exhausting walks over difficult terrain. For girl students, who are also required to perform hours of domestic chores in the morning, a long walk proves even more challenging. Students often arrive late and tired and academic performances suffer if they manage to stay in school at all.
Access to a high-quality bicycle dramatically changes educational outcomes. A 2012 Education Report highlighted a 28% increase in student attendance and a 59% increase academic performance. World Bicycle Relief has delivered over 50,000 bicycles to students in Zambia since 2009.
Belita is a student in Zambia who received her bicycle in 2012. Before receiving her bicycle, she woke at 5 am to walk 10km round-trip to school. Even skipping morning chores didn’t always help her arrive at school on time. Belita dreaded the slap on her wrist in front of the whole class, her punishment for being late. Just one year later, Belita was riding to school and arriving on time every day, helping her grandmother with chores and thriving in school. Belita has plans to attend nurses’ training college.
“We have seen first-hand the immediate impact the bicycles have on students- especially girl students who are able to complete their domestic chores and still get to school on time with the help of a bicycle,” said Dave Neiswander, President of World Bicycle Relief. “With the simple addition of a high-quality bicycle, students can stay focused on their school work and achieve their educational goals. We are dedicated to helping this next generation of Zambian students access education and become leaders and change-makers within their communities and beyond.”
To get involved to help World Bicycle Relief reach their goal of providing 3,200 more bicycles and brighter futures for the next generation of Zambian students please visit worldbicyclerelief.org/next-generation.