Dear Bikes for Girls Supporters,
We are happy to be updating you on the progress we have made in Vietnam. First of all, thank you all for buying bikes for the girls! Everyone in Vietnam thanks you. Please see the link below to a short video promoting our Bikes for Girls program and see some of your bikes and the girls who have received them.
As you can see on the faces of these beautiful girls, receiving a bike is incredibly special for them. Although I am not able to attend each and every ceremony, I have been to many and for me the most wonderful part is to see the girls climb onto the bikes and head off down the road together. It’s an unbelievable site.
This year, depending on funding of course, we would like to try and give at least 20 bikes each month. We have already started with 20 bikes being distributed at the end of January, and another 20 planned for February.
We also have plans to bring another group of volunteers to Vietnam in July 2015 to work with us on the bike program, as well as take part in our art and music camps in ethnic minority villages. As you may know from previous reports, our staff in Vietnam, along with the employees from local bike shops, visit the girls 2-3 months after giving them their bikes. We provide a check of the bikes and repair what needs to be repaired. This approach has worked out OK so far, but as we provide more bikes, we definitely need a more sustainable plan for bike maintenance and training.
So this summer, we hope to team up with a U.S. group who teaches high school students here in the States to repair and conduct bike safety checks. Our goal is to provide similar training to some of the girls, and at least one woman in each village or school system so that we have someone local that the girls can go to if their bikes need repairing, or they need supplies. We are excited to get this part of the program off the ground.
Lots of people ask why give bikes only to girls, and why train a woman to repair the bikes and not a man. Well, the answer is simple; we want to empower girls and women to be self-reliant, especially when it comes to something as simple as their transportation. The more knowledge these girls and women own, the more likely they will have the tools to help themselves through life, and hopefully, eventually out of poverty. We want to give them a bike to be able to travel to school, but we also want them to know that we have confidence in what they can do!
So, we hope to put the “Bike Repair and Safety” team together for the summer to begin the training program and make this a permanent part of our Bikes for Girls program.
Again, we would like to thank all of you for buying bikes, and for helping sustain this program now for almost two years! Please let us know if you would like to volunteer somehow with us.
Thank you again,
Sara Nerone (Founder)
Dear Friends and Supporters,
I hope this update finds you in good health and high spirits. We have just donated our 200th bike in the last week! Thank you so much for your support. It’s hard to imagine your impact I’m sure, so we would like you to meet a couple of girls who have received a bike thanks to your generous donation.
Please know that you are making a huge difference in the lives of girls in Vietnam.
10-year-old Kieu is one of 9 brothers and sisters. Four years ago, when she was six, Kieu’s father died, leaving her mother, Hien the lone supporter of the large family. Hien, works making $2-$4 a day selling snails she catches on the nearby shoreline.
Kieu’s three oldest siblings have all dropped out of school and traveled to different provinces, far away to find work to help support the family. Each month they send home whatever they can to help their mother with school fees and food for the rest of the children.
Kieu and her family were overjoyed when she received the bike. As much as her mother worries daily about her children, Kieu’s new bike offers a small respite, knowing that her daughter is more safe now going to and from school.
Before we met Thoa, the 8-year-old was about to quit school. Her father Hieu, 36, a fisherman, and her mother Thao, 35, a restaurant worker, could not afford a bike for their daughter, and the 10 km distance to school was too far for her to walk.
Thoa’s father’s job requires him to be on the water anywhere from weeks to months at a time. His earnings vary, depending on the catch, and frequently he will come home after months away with only $50 -$100. Her mother earns around $100 a month working everyday at the restaurant. Thoa’s 14-year-old brother goes to the restaurant after school and works all night only to return home in the morning to make it in to school.
When Thoa comes home from school in the afternoon, she is alone in the house until 10 p.m. when her mother comes home from work.
“Looking at the cute girl’s face and her bright eyes, we felt really moved,” our program director said. “At her young age, she has no way of thinking how difficult her life is going to be in the future. She deserves more love from people and a good education for a better future.”
Thank you once again for your continued support. Know that your donation directly goes to the purchase of a bike for a young girl. Know that with each bike we give, another young girl has the opportunity to continue with their schooling. We are forever grateful for your generosity, you are an integral part in improving the lives of girls in need. We are changing lives, thank you for being a part of the change.
The Rock-Paper-Scissors Children's Fund Team
We hope your summer is going well and this update finds you in good health. We are getting close to the last week of our trip in Vietnam and we couldn’t be more happy with the work that you have helped us accomplish and only wish we had more time to stay and do more.
So far we have had two bike giving ceremonies in Cam Duc and Cam An villages, with one more to go in the coming week. By the end of our trip we will have given 60 bikes to girls in the Cam Lam district and by the end of this year we hope to donate 150 more bikes to girls in need in Viet Nam.
It is hard to describe life in Cam Lam to anyone who has never been here. It is hard to explain to someone what a family living on only $1 a day looks like, or what it’s like to visit a young girl’s home who has lost both her parents and lives with relatives in a tiny, one-room cement house with no furniture, and yet still maintains a constant smile and a thankfulness for a gift that we so often take for granted. We also can’t describe fully what it feels like to watch as a group of girls jump on their new bikes and ride away, as we look on and hope that they may be able to continue their education because now they have a way to make the trek that the day before seemed too far for a pair of feet alone to conquer. We also can’t explain, or reconcile even with ourselves what it’s like knowing that for whatever small measure of good we are trying to produce here, it is never enough, and the importance of supporting girls’ education worldwide is paramount for the success of future generations.
But one thing we can try to do as best we can is to say thank you. We can say that with your thoughtfulness and generosity that you are making a difference in these girl’s lives and we are seeing it first hand. We can tell you that we are forever grateful that you have chosen to support these beautiful girls. We have made sure that every $55 has gone directly to buying a bike.
We hope you will continue to have good health, good luck, and good success in the months and years to come.
Thank you again,
The Rock-Paper-Scissors Children’s Fund Team
Thanks to all of you who have supported our 100 Bikes for 100 Girls program on Global Giving. We have just reached another funding milestone by raising enough money to buy bikes for 100 more girls! Thank you so much for the continued support, the girls are so happy to receive the bikes from you all. The girls and their families send their hellos and thanks to you all.
In March, one of our Board Members, Ms. Luu Phan was in Vietnam and she went for the first time to visit our art, music and bike program in the province of Khanh Hoa. She was very happy to be able to take part in a bike giving ceremony while she was visiting, and was so happy to see the reaction and gratefulness of the girls receiving the bikes that you have given them. The photographs linked to this report are of Luu with some of the girls.
More good news is that a staff member of Global Giving also went to visit our program in Vietnam. She sent back rave reviews to their office here in the states, so we are very excited to have this independent critique of Rock-Paper-Scissors. Please let us know if any of you have plans to travel to Vietnam, a group of us will be there from the U.S. this summer for one month working with the kids.
Please know that all of your donations have gone directly to purchasing a bike or bikes. We look forward to continuing this program on Global Giving. Thank you again for supporting the girls and giving them an opportunity to own a new bike, the opportunity to travel to school easily and most of all safely. Your gifts have already made such an enormous, direct difference in each of these girl’s lives.
Thanks to all of you who supported us in 2013! We raised enough money to provide bikes to 150 girls! Thank you so much for the continued support, it means a great deal to all of the girls we support.
We wanted to let you all know, that we have returned to the communities to visit the girls we have given bikes to, to provide them with bike pumps, tires if needed, and additional tire tubes. We hope to follow up with the girls 4 or 5 months after they receive a bike to assure that the bikes are in good working condition. This helps us make sure that the type of bikes we’ve been purchasing hold up, and an idea of the kinds of repairs they may need. So far, so good, and of course the bikes are being used by the girls and their families all the time. The photos attached are of one of our trips to see some of the girls. We brought along the bike shop owner to help us with repairs, and to provide new tires if needed. All of the girls were very happy, and have told us how they love the bikes, and how it’s easier for them to get to school, and many other great bike stories.
We wanted to share one of the girl’s stories with you. This is Men, she lives with her parents, younger brother, and grandmother in a small house built by the government. Her father is a fisherman, a hard job in Vietnam and her mom doesn’t work because she has severe epilepsy. Men is one of the top students at her high school. She is learning to speak English, and studies very hard. She is a great example for her classmates because although she is so poor, and her living conditions are hard, she stays strong and positive and continues to work very hard. Men and her family were very excited about her having a new bike to help her get to school safely. Her grandmother told us that the night before receiving the bike, their whole family couldn't sleep because they were so excited! The bike has helped her family in many ways, not just helping Men get to school, but also Men can now take her mom to the hospital easily on the back of her bike when she needs to.
Please know, that all of your donations have gone directly to purchasing a bike or bikes. We look forward to expanding this program in 2014 with a lot of new ideas and will keep you updated. Thank you again for supporting the girls and giving them an opportunity to own a new bike.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.