Studies have shown that providing transportation can dramatically increase the income for families in developing countries who live outside of urban areas. Without transportation many children living in these rural villages cannot go to school.
Commonly schools are located too far away for children to walk and they do not have the means to pay for public transport. This contributes to a cycle of poverty and prevents children using education as a way to break this cycle. The bicycle, with its low-cost /high benefit ratio, is one of the best means to eliminate poverty. For children, in particular, a bicycle can offer the chance to access and continue education. The returns are substantial and it can increase in the percentage of children who complete their schooling to as much as 88% compared to the national average of 60%.
CHRISTINA NOBLE CHILDREN'S FOUNDATION decided to act on these findings and start the Bicycle Support Programme in 2004 in Mekong Delta, Vietnam. The programme donates bicycles to children who are over eight years old, live at least 2km away from their schools and whose families are in financial difficulties.
Christina Noble Children's Foundation explains "the cost of a bicycle is normally too expensive for poor families, so children are left with no alternative other than to walk to school or to spend the family's, very limited, income on bus fares. For those who have to walk, the distance and the extreme elements (scorching sun in the dry season or pouring rain in the rainy season) often result in them arriving late for class or worse still being forced to drop out of school altogether. Our simple solution has been to provide families in need with a bicycle and safety helmet."
The marcus evans group, the parent company of Linguarama, has collaborated with the Bicycle Support Programme and has provided bicycles for these children giving them the opportunity to have some autonomy in their daily lives and claim their right to education. The bicycle kit consists of a quality bicycle and two safety helmets. Every recipient receives basic training about bicycle maintenance and safety. In addition, each bike has an extra seat on the back which means two family members can ride together. The anticipated outcome is that by providing children with transport, it will support their educational development and they will eventually find a way out of poverty, not only for themselves but for their entire family.
marcus evans looks forward to continuing this partnership, as well as to supporting other similar effective programmes such as this one in order to contribute to a brighter future for all.
For further information please contact:
Luzdary Hammad, Press Manager, marcus evans, Summits Division
Tel: + 357 22 849 385