"The right to education is for all, even for a girl" are the words 18-year-old Dianah wrote when World Bicycle Relief provided her with a vehicle that could change her future.
Dianah received a Buffalo Bike from the 2005 founded charity, that could enable her to realise her dream and become a college professor. This Christmas you could help more young girls just like her.
World Bicycle Relief has launched a Christmas campaign aimed at providing more life changing bicycles for schoolgirls in rural developing countries.
There are 29 million young girls around the world not attending secondary school - and the campaign ‘A Way Forward’ looks to improve the situation. The charity says that in rural Africa, distance, inequity and early marriage are all factors that stand between these young girls and school.
Dianah is 18-years-old, and has a bike provided by the charity. She penned a poem on receiving her bicycle:
The right to education is for all, even for a girl
People may wish for sons, but I’m glad I was born, born a girl child
Challenges may be more, but the blessings will be bigger
You educate a girl
You’ve educated a nation
It’s only education that equalizes a rich man’s daughter
And a poor man’s daughter
As I cycle my Buffalo Bicycle to school every day
I know, my future will be great
Her mother Rofina commented: “As a mother, I was fearing for Dianah so much. And I would feel that she might not even finish her education because of the risks facing her on the way. Now that she has the bicycle, I have never worried about Dianah’s going and coming back from school."
"We are now able to keep all of the girls in school and prevent early pregnancies and marriages." Monica Mudonidongo - Vice Principal
The charity produced a video to support the campaign, which highlights the struggles young girls face (see bottom of this page) – and the huge benefits a bicycle can provide.
World Bicycle Relief say that when you give a child a bike, attendance at school rides from 28 per cent to 59 per cent. The 2005 formed charity, with help from donations, can provide more young girls with bikes. Until December 31 they’ll match every pound donated.
Just £95 will provide a Buffalo Bicycle. Monica Mudonidongo, the Vice Principal of the Bukhaywa Secondary School says she has seen a dramatic change in student attendance and academic achievement since the Buffalo bicycles were introduced. She commented: “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."
Honorable Ebbe Kavai, Minister of Education in the Western Province of Kenya said: “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 of going to school, especially when they are walking."
The goal of helping keep more girls in school is in line with the United Nations’ stated Sustainable Development Goals – which call for an improvement in quality of life for millions of people in developing countries with special attention placed on girls and women. They’ve said that when girls and women do better, the society as a whole does better. In 2015, the UN stated: “If effectively supported during the adolescent years, girls have the potential to change the world."
You can support World Bicycle Relief by making a donation – read more here: worldbicyclerelief.org/forward
See Dianah perform her poem below...