World Bicycle Relief  

Q1 What is the main focus of your charity?

World Bicycle Relief mobilises people through The Power of Bicycles. We deliver specially designed rugged and durable Buffalo Bicycles to rural areas in developing countries where the main mode of transport is walking. We envision a world where distance is no longer a barrier to independence and livelihood.

Mobilising Students to Access Education

We distribute Buffalo Bicycles to school students living in remote areas in developing countries through our Bicycles for Educational Empowerment Program (BEEP). In remote areas there are no school buses or public transport. Many students are fighting distance and fatigue every day on their way to school. Education is essential for ending the cycle of poverty and disease. However, in many rural areas across the globe children are denied access to basic education due to the barrier of distance. BEEP provides bicycles to students, teachers and school volunteers to improve access to education and reduce travel time with a goal to improve educational outcomes. Focus on Girl Students Decreased school attendance is particularly acute among girl students who, due to cultural difference, are expected to contribute considerably to household chores before making their long journey to school. The path to school can also present physical danger to girls in the form of sexual harassment. Dropout rates among girls living in rural areas in developing countries are high. Lack of educational opportunities for girls are driving factors in early marriage, pregnancy and poverty for women.

Giving a girl a way to get to school safely and quickly empowers her to stay in school and gain the skills she needs to succeed. With an education, women can break the cycle of intergenerational poverty, creating positive change for themselves, their families and their communities.

Q2 How important are donations to your charity?

With the help of supporters like you, over the past 10 years we have successfully implemented BEEP with more than 187,000 bicycles in 13 countries. Central to this program is the improvement of educational outcomes for girls, with 70% of BEEP bicycles allocated to female recipients.

We need your help to keep girl students at school rather than dropping out due to distance and fatigue and ending up in child marriage. Bicycles have proven to keep girls at school as well as improving a sense of safety traveling to and from school. It costs only $195 to get a bicycle into the hands of a student. That includes all bicycles parts, shipping, assembly and distribution to student. All Buffalo Bicycles are assembled in the destination countries and we train bicycle mechanics in the areas we distribute bicycles to, creating employment and contributing to economic development.

Q3 What difference will the following amounts of money make?

By supporting World Bicycle Relief and our Bicycles for Educational Empowerment Program you’re helping fund schools with bicycles so girl students have a higher chance of getting an education.

Hear it from a Buffalo Bicycle recipient: 

“When I was about to give up, World Bicycle Relief came to my rescue. With the bicycle, the two-hour journey to school now takes me 30 minutes, Bridget says. No more punishments, no fear of insults along the way and my performance has tremendously improved. You can check my grades with my form teacher.” BRIDGET, STUDENT AT ST. MARY’S COMMUNITY DAY SECONDARY SCHOOL, MALAWI.

Through our Monitoring & Evaluation Program the findings revealed:

  • Student attendance increased by 28%
  • Academic performance increased by 59%
  • Students reduced their travel time from 80 to 55 minutes, a 31% decrease
  • Increased punctuality, a 50% reduction in late arrivals
  • Improved sense of safety, an 81% increase in students reporting they feel safer traveling to and from school
  • Multiplier effect, 75% of the beneficiaries said they always carry someone on their bicycle when riding to school
  • One year of secondary education for girls correlates to 25% higher wages later in life

When the student doesn’t need the bicycle to get to school, the family can use it to get water from the well, get produce to the markets and deliver milk to the Dairy Co-op.

Benefits of Owning a Bicycle

A focus group on impact of the bicycle at household level revealed the following ways in which the bicycles contribute to a household’s wellbeing:

• Ferrying garden produce to market
• Transporting patients to health facilities
• Accessing water and mills
• Visiting distant relations

Household Economy In addition to easing the mobility of school-going children, the bicycle empowers the household with a tool for development, leading to increased economic opportunity within the communities we serve. In the short term, bicycles relieve children’s exhaustion from commuting to school and help them attend regularly. In the long term, rugged and durable bicycles help children complete their education, preparing them for better jobs, reducing likelihood of extreme poverty. The Buffalo Bicycle – a gift that keeps on giving!