World Bicycle Relief has announced that its year-end campaign for donations will provide life-changing bicycles to students living in developing countries, notably, schools like Umoja Secondary School in Eldoret, Kenya, where children of Christian, Muslim and traditional African faiths study together and embody their motto "Together We Rise."
Donations received now through December 31, 2017, up to $1.7m will be matched dollar-for-dollar with the potential of delivering tens of thousands of bicycles to students who are at risk of dropping out due to the challenge of distance and personal safety on the way to school.
When Umoja Secondary School received bicycles in 2016, a group of Muslim and Christian girls, together, chose to challenge the cultural expectations that confined them. This year’s campaign highlights how these young girls conquered their fears, pushed past cultural restraints and pursued their academic goals on two wheels. With bicycles, girl students not only conquered the challenge of distance, but also tapped into a newfound confidence and independence that came with riding a bike. Riding together also led to new friendships among students.
World Bicycle Relief was founded in 2005 by SRAM co-founder and executive vice president FK Day following the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The organisation – its motto is "the power of bicycles" – is a registered nonprofit in USA, Canada, UK and Germany, and has assembly facilities in Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Africa and Angola.
The UK arm of the charity raised £293,505 in 2016, and spent more than £1m on projects in Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe.