Access to education is a global challenge, in rural areas, it is even more challenging due to a lack of infrastructure and resources. Often, students have to travel long distances to reach school, which is not only time-consuming but also physically demanding. For young girls, this often leads to transactional sex, making them vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies. In addition, students often arrive late to school, missing the beginning of lessons and falling behind. These challenges not only affect their academic performance but also their overall well-being.
One solution to this challenge is through the provision of bicycles to students, particularly girls. Last year, in partnership with The One Bicycle Foundation, we were able to donate 40 bicycles to students in rural areas who travel long distances to school. Providing this means of transportation to students in this area has had a significant impact on their daily lives. These bicycles not only make it possible for students to get to school on time, but they also reduce the risk of girls being exposed to sexual exploitation, especially when they have to walk long distances alone.
The impact of the bicycle donation is evident; here is one of the impact stories from our beneficiaries. Sixteen-year-old Syprose is a high-achieving student with a passion for Physics. With home quite far from school, she would not be able to manage her chores and arrive at school on time each day without her bicycle. This is what Syprose had to say regarding the impact of the bicycle on her academic performance,’’ last year the organization gave me a bicycle to cycle to school and it has really reduced my commute time helping me to arrive at school on time. Since I come from a remote area, getting to school on time was a problem, and my parents were unable to provide for my daily transport cost. I found it difficult to catch up with the dawn lessons hence it became very challenging to cope up with the already covered syllabus and this led to a drop in my academic performance from an A- to B-. After receiving the bicycle I am now at position 7 out of 253 students with a mean grade of B+[68 points]. My performance has improved since I am able to catch up with the dawn lessons I used to miss before.” These bicycles will make a real difference in students' lives, allowing them to access education and improve their opportunities.
The provision of bicycles to aid students in their daily commute to school is one of the many practical solutions that can be implemented to ensure that all children, especially girls in rural areas, have access to education. It is not a perfect solution, but it is a step in the right direction. Thanks to One Bicycle Foundation 40 students have access to education, which is vital for their personal development, growth, and future success.
Riley Orton Foundation
Riley Orton Foundation (ROF) provides holistic education and promotes gender equality in STEM education to ensure girls and a community with the agency to realize their full potential