By default, we entered children who are ill in a Cycle Tour. The experience was a self-esteem boost, created a hunger for more physical activity and amazingly, we received reports that they did better at the special needs school they are enrolled in. Why? because they were part of an international event they could not have dreamed of being part of. Cycling is an alternative to boredom, crime, drug use, school drop-out, teen pregnancies and risk behavior in general. This is how stigma is broken.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
Children living with life-limiting illnesses like diabetes, cancer and HIV do not have it easy, especially because they are living in dire poverty. Stigma, shame, bullying, and isolation can result in depression, school drop-out, risk behavior, and delinquency. Engaging children and youth in activities that make them feel included boosts self-esteem and encourages positive behaviors and choices, like staying in school and aiming for a bright future. Parental involvement builds healthy families.
How will this project solve this problem?
Engaging kids and youth in cycling will be help them become physically healthier, focus on healthy they stick to their medications and decrease their stress. They will gain skills and confidence, which can help avoid the pitfalls of risk behavior like drug and alcohol abuse, delinquency, risky sexual behavior, and school drop-out. Parents are included, which promotes parental and male involvement. The project advances social integration by recruitment volunteers whose lives are more privileged
Potential Long Term Impact
Healthy choices lead to better health outcomes. Improved self-esteem that goes with feeling included helps overcome stigma and shame. Staying in care and in school improves educational outcomes and long-term employment prospects. Health promotion messages help prevent the spread of STIs, HIV and prevent teen pregnancy. The project builds leadership capacity and self-efficacy in youth, developing skills so that they build their communities. 30 riders become 60 which grows to 300 change agents.
This project has been retired and is no longer accepting donations.