Lotus Pedals - Help Cambodian Girls Get to School!

 
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The Lotus Pedals program provides transportation to girl students who live in rural communities, often without public transportation near by. By providing these girl students with bicycles, it gives them the mobility to go to school, and gives them the independence of getting themselves there on their own. The $62 bike opens many doors for these girl students who would not have had the chance to go to school otherwise. Only 11% of Cambodian girls attend secondary school. Lotus Pedals is working to improve that disheartening statistic.

 

Cheng, a Cambodian 16 year-old girl, has benefited from the Lotus Pedals program immensely. She is in secondary school in the Phnom Kravanh district. Before Cheng received the Lotus Pedals bike, she commuted 3 kilometers a day to school and back. After completing her studies in grade school, she then transferred to a high school. Unfortunately her new high school was 7 kilometers away from her home which made the journey much more difficult.

 

Cheng’s family owned two old bikes that had to be shared with her two other sisters. Both Cheng and her sister study together at the same high school but are in different grades and have different schedules. They were forced to coordinate with each other, which often made both Cheng and her sister late and absent from their classes. On top of it all, the bike that they were sharing began to have many problems. With the difficulties of bike repairs and coordinating with her sister, Cheng began to fall behind in her education and felt she needed to drop out of her classes.

 

Once Cheng received her Lotus Pedals bike, she was delighted to have access to school again. Her attendance and timeliness at school since receiving the bike has been perfect, without missing a single day of class. She has shown improvement in her education, and doesn’t have to worry about sharing a bike with her sister, or having endless bike repairs.

 

Cheng says that she has goals to pursue her education and attend university with her friends. She then hopes to have a successful career. Overall, she wants both her and her sister to keep on perusing their education to eventually provide for their family and create a better life for them all.

 

The Cambodian Organization for Children and Development (COCD) enabled Chang to continue her education by gifting her this bicycle. Cheng would like to thank all of those involved and wish them success in all tasks.

Nita at School
Nita at School

Nita is 14 years old and studies in the 6th grade at Kdey Chas Primary School in Kdey Chas Village in the Chroy Chongva District of Phnom Penh City.

Nita is from a very difficult background. Since her birth she has never seen her parents. Nita’s mother gave her to her elder sister Davy and her brother-in-law Soeun to take care of her where she has grown up in extreme poverty. When Soeun died, Davy gave Nita to her son Eang Vadna, 32 years old and a motor taxi driver, and her daughter-in-law, 31 years old and a garment factory worker, who already had 2 children.

Living in a family of 5 members whose income came from running a motor taxi and factory work, their livelihood was very difficult, especially when it came to Nita’s education. She lacked study materials and the means of transportation to get to school, which resulted in frequent tardiness and low performance.

Thankfully, Nita was identified by Lotus Outreach’s local partner and granted a set of a Lotus Pedals; a new bicycle for safe transportation to and from school. In return, Nita exclaimed:

“After getting a bicycle from Lotus Pedals, I am extremely delighted, because I now have a bicycle to pedal to school like others. I no longer walk, and I arrive at school on time and regularly. I also have time to help with household chores. On top of that, I have become a member of Village Child Club gaining new knowledge and taking part in group activities to educate the villagers on special occasions such as International Children’s Day, the Anti-Human Trafficking Campaign, and the Children Forum, along with others.”

When asked about her future plan, Nita replied:

“My dream is to finish high school and look for a job while continuing to university, so that I can support myself and help to support this family to repay them for raising me like their own child without complaining regardless of all the difficulties they face.”

She added, “I would like to request to all parents to please not abandon their children no matter how poor they are. I am very disappointed that my parents abandoned me while other parents who are also poor struggle to raise all their children. I am lucky in a sense, anyway, that this family has mercy on me; otherwise, I don’t know what my life would be. I will study hard to turn this sad situation into a bright future.

I would like to pay gratitude to the program for the support. I wish everyone success and prosperity so you can continue to help other children!

Nita with her new bike
Nita with her new bike

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Dory receiving her bike with fellow students!
Dory receiving her bike with fellow students!

Lotus Pedals gives the gift of education to girls in deep poverty, where public transportation is often nonexistent. It gives these girl students a feeling of mobility and confidence as they pedal with speed down rural roads with friends to and from school. For just $62 a girl receives a new bicycle and a repair kit to ensure her education, and also a sense of independence seldom offered in such rural conditions. Support this movement!

Take Dory Seyva for example. Dory, 12 years old, lives in the Cambodian village Chub Pring within the Thmey commune located in the Kampong Rou district. She currently studies in grade 7 at Thmey secondary school and has 3 siblings. She is the oldest in her family along with two younger sisters. They all live in a small hourse without a latrine or nearby well. Her father, In Sam Ol, and her mother, Koem Savourn, work as laborers in a nearby farm to just barely make ends meet. As a result of such poverty, Dory often suffers from malnutrition and lacks the basic study materials needed to complete her studies.

Before Dory got a bicycle from Lotus Outreach through Lotus Pedals, she always relied on asking a friend for a lift to school. Quite often her friend was absent and thus, she had to frequently skip school. Her home is 6 kilometers away from school and her family could not afford to buy her a bicycle.

Lotus Outreach was able to sponsor Dory and purchase her a bicycle and repair kit. Dory said that she is extremely happy to have a bicycle like some of her other friends. She no longer has to worry about asking her friend for a lift to school. She can now attend school regularly and does not need to rely on anyone, but herself. Up till now, her bike is still completely new because she always looks after it and cleans it after each use whether it is a trip to school or a ride with friends.

In the future, Dory dreams to be a great teacher at the state school near her home village and she is committed to studying hard to reach this goal. Last but not least, she would like to thank Lotus Outreach very much for providing a great bike to her to allow her to study harder and pursue her dream. She promises that she will continue her studies and looks forward to graduating from high school!

Dory second from the left riding her new bike!
Dory second from the left riding her new bike!

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Nita rides her bike to school!
Nita rides her bike to school!

In Kampong Cham Province, outside of the Cambodian capital city of Phnom Penh, lives a young girl named Nita. Nita is in the 5th grade and is the oldest of 3 children. Her mother is a single parent who works as a paid laborer in the rice fields and struggles to provide for her children’s future.

Like many students before they received a bicycle from Lotus Pedals, Nita had difficulty getting to school on time, because there are no school buses to take her. Sometimes she would sit on the handlebars of her friend’s bike to get to school. Otherwise she had to walk over a mile through streets which are very dangerous for a girl as young as Nita. She missed many days of school and her education was starting to slip away.

All of that changed when she received her very own bicycle from Lotus Pedals. The ride to school became much shorter and safer, and now Nita is in the top quartile of students in her class (eighth of thirty-five students).

Just $62 can provide a girl with an all-terrain bicycle and a repair kit to keep her bike in perfect working condition! Transportation is essential to making education possible.

Education is one of the greatest things that can happen for a girl in Cambodia. According to the World Bank, when a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children; an extra year of secondary school boosts her eventual wages 15 to 25 percent. Increased wages enhance a woman’s bargaining power in the household and consequently her ability to meet the needs of her children.

Despite these truths, 70 percent of the world’s out-of-school children are girls.

Your generosity helped Lotus Outreach deliver 784 bikes in the last year! By helping Lotus Outreach perform this vital service, you are making sure that young girls like Nita have a chance to break the cycle of poverty and advance to greater things.

Thank you for supporting Lotus Outreach and Lotus Pedals!

Nita, in 5th grade, demonstrates her reading.
Nita, in 5th grade, demonstrates her reading.
It
It's "V" for victory for Morokot!

Morokot is 12 years old and the third daughter of a family of four siblings, one boy and three girls. She lives at the Krang Angkrong Pei village, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Morokot studies in the sixth grade at the Cambodian Volunteers for Children and Development Kork Khleang Pei Primary School, at the Kork Khleang Pei community. Her father, Savorn, is 69 years old and works as a tuk-tuk driver. Her mother, Chan, is 48 years old and works as a food seller.

Sien’s family is very poor. In 2011, her father had a traffic accident and broke his right arm. Since then he's in pain and can no longer drive the tuk-tuk for as many hours as he did before. He drives people in his community just to nearby places and hence is only able to earn an irregular income. Sometimes he can make US$2.50 per day, but sometimes nothing at all. Since the accident, the family’s situation has become increasingly difficult. They had to take a loan from a microfinance establishment to start up the food-selling business. And their oldest daughter, Silen, had to drop out of high school to work in a garment factory to help support the family and repay the loan.

The family now thoroughly depends on the mother’s and Silen’s income. The mother can make around US$5 in profits from her business per day and Silen earns US$120 monthly. However, they still struggle to make ends meet and cover the house rent, paying back the business loan (US$20 per week), purchasing pain medicine for the father, water and electricity costs, and schooling for three children.

In the midst of the family struggle, Morakot tries to stay focused on her studies. She loves reading Khmer literature. She tries to study hard. However, at the beginning of this academic year, her school performance was being negatively affected by the fact that she had to walk 2 miles to school, as it impacted her ability to get to school on time and regularly.

Morokot’s luck changed when she was selected as a Lotus Pedal recipient in April 2014. Here is how she describes the impact the bike has had in her life:

Before getting the bike, I had to walk 2 miles on a road to get to school. Since I had to help around at home in between school and had to walk that far, I sometimes got to school late. Sometimes I had to miss school. And most of the time I felt tired when I got to school and couldn’t concentrate on the lesson. This had a very negative effect on my school performance. I came 15th to 20th in the class then. After getting the bike from the program, travelling to school has become so easy. I now arrive on time and am able to pay full attention in class. My school performance has improved too! I rank between 4th and 11th now!

Thanks to Lotus Pedal, Morokot now can ride her bike to school. Having the bicycle makes a big difference on her ability to attend class, be attentive, and ultimately on her ability to complete her studies. Morokot is deeply grateful to the Lotus Pedals program. She is determined to study hard and pursue her aspiration to become a doctor.

Morokot and her family wish the best of luck and great success to all the donors who so generously supported Lotus Pedals! We at Lotus Outreach second their best wishes!

Determined Morokot
Determined Morokot

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Organization

Lotus Outreach

Aptos, California, United States
http://www.lotusoutreach.org

Project Leader

Elise De Grande

Executive Director
Sacramento, CA United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Lotus Pedals - Help Cambodian Girls Get to School!