Help a Schoolgirl With a Dream Bike

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Posted on 12/16/2013
Make a difference in the life of a child by donating to the Dream Bikes campaign this holiday season.
Make a difference in the life of a child by donating to the Dream Bikes campaign this holiday season.

As the holidays approach, many people are planning their festive dinners, finalizing their wish lists and hitting the stores in search of the perfect gifts for their loved ones. However, for families living in poverty around the world, the holiday season differs very little from any other time of year. Children living in India, particularly those in poorer rural communities, face many hardships, and gifts and seasonal celebrations are often the furthest thoughts from their mind.

However, the holidays are an ideal time to give a gift that will make a difference in the life of a child. This holiday season, consider donating a Dream Bike for a girl who lives a long distance from school so she can receive the education she needs to break the cycle of generational poverty. ChildFund's Dream Bike program provides bicycles to girls in Afghanistan, Bolivia, Cambodia, Ethiopia, The Gambia, India, Indonesia, Mozambique, Senegal and Sri Lanka.

Enduring Hardships

Some Indian girls, such as Hirabai, a 14-year-old eighth grader, used to have to walk through rugged countryside just to get to school. Hirabai lives in a remote Indian village, and her school is more than 2 miles away from her family's home. Hirabai often missed two days of school each week. Not only was this journey long and arduous, it was also dangerous.

During one walk to school, Hirabai and her friends encountered a pack of wild boars. Fortunately, none of the girls were harmed, but boars can be fiercely territorial, and the situation could have become very dangerous. On another day, one of Hirabai's friends fell down while walking over the treacherous terrain and was injured.

These hardships illustrate the dangers faced by many girls in India and Sri Lanka. Missing many days of school, or not attending at all, reduces their chances of achieving successful livelihoods and independence as adults, as well as leading to societal problems like early marriage and exploitative child labor. That's why ChildFund's Dream Bike campaign is so important.

Making Dreams Come True

Last year, Hirabai received a bicycle through ChildFund's Dream Bike campaign. Not only did the bicycle enable her to get to school on time, it also substantially reduced the time it takes for her to get there, meaning she has more time to complete her homework and gets home before nightfall. Every day, Hirabai and her friends ride to school together, and she is no longer late for classes. When she finishes school, Hirabai plans to attend college, an opportunity she may have missed without the bicycle.

"In India, many of the girl children discontinue their education at a very young age due to lack of transportation in rural areas," says Esther James of ChildFund India. "If they are provided with bicycles, many of the girls can continue their education."

This holiday season, please consider giving the gift of an education to a schoolgirl by donating to the Dream Bike campaign. To date, we have provided more than 560 bicycles and are on track to meet our goal of delivering 1,000 bikes to these children. However, to meet that target, we need your help.

Spending time with family and friends is what the holidays are all about, but this year, you can also make a difference in the life of a child that will last a lifetime. Many children will be hoping for bicycles this holiday season, but for Indian and Sri Lankan girls, a bike could be so much more than a gift. It's a chance for them to emerge from poverty and lead happy, fulfilling lives.