As a result of your generous support, 107 impoverished young girls in the Russey Keo district of Phnom Penh, Cambodia received refurbished bicycles and repair kits this month, allowing them to celebrate Back to School season in style.In rural Cambodia, the road to school is long and full of hazards. In addition to the time and opportunity costs of traversing lengthy distances to school by foot, rural Cambodian girls face a high incidence of sexual violence in their communities, and walking alone increases their risk. By supplying heavy-terrain bicycles to the poorest girls living over one mile from the nearest schoolhouse, Lotus Pedals is helping hundreds of adolescent Cambodian girls safely return to school.The giveaway ceremony, held at Bun Rany Hun Sen Koh Dach High School on October 8, was attended by nearly 1,000 people, including the district officer, commune council, village chief, school director, teachers, local authorities and 700 school children and parents. Speaking to the crowd, the Deputy Governor stressed that a bicycle means a lot to poor family that would otherwise have to save for a very long time in order to afford a bike for their daughter. Student council representatives also declared that with a bike, the girls can now come to school both regularly and on time. Recipients thanked the donors and promised to study hard and take good care of their new bikes.Susan B. Anthony once said "I think [the bicycle] has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives a woman a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. The moment she takes her seat she knows she can't get into harm unless she gets off her bicycle, and away she goes, the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood."These words – spoken by a 19th century American feminist – could not be truer in present-day rural Cambodia, where – for a young woman – a bicycle can mean the difference between reaching her full potential and a life of oppression. We offer our deepest gratitude to each and every one of you for entrusting us to help these young Cambodian girls get back to school, and for investing in the healing of a nation.
On July 12, Lotus Pedals delivered brand new bicycles and pumps to five promising young women enrolled in our Girls’ Access to Education (GATE) scholarship program in Phnom Penh, Cambodia to ensure they could get to school safely.In urban environments like Phnom Penh, girls often face harassment and abuse while walking to school alone, and their risk increases as they reach adolescence, both as a result of their age and the longer commute to secondary school.We interviewed one of the new Lotus Pedals recipients, Chea Daraty, who describes the danger she faced before receiving the bicycle. Watch her short interview by clicking the link below.Thank you again for helping us pave a way to school for hundreds of Cambodian girls each year. To learn more about this project or pledge additional support, please visit http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/lotuspedals/
Since last October when Sim Soline began her upper secondary studies, she has walked four kilometers to her new high school. Sometimes she was able to ride along on the back of a friend’s bike or pay a moto-taxi to bridge the distance – whatever it took to make it to class. Her attendance is near perfect, making this 10th grader an excellent role model for her six younger siblings, all of whom are still in school.
Inspired by the earnest ambition of this 17 year old, and conscious of her influence over six younger children looking up to her, we wanted to give Soline as much support to complete high school as we possibly could. She is already one of our GATE scholars, but we also made her one of 63 girls who received a bike through our Lotus Pedals project this March.
We can do this because of YOU! Your continued support makes all the difference for students ready to go the extra mile to succeed, and for the kids who look up to them. Thank you!
Jacqueline Lee is an InTheField Traveler with GlobalGiving who is visiting our partners' projects throughout Southeast Asia. Her "Postcard" from the visit in Cambodia:
On March 14, Alexis and I visited Louts Outreach's recipients of the Lotus Pedals project. The recipients were 2 young girls who received a bike from the Lotus Pedals program. Before they had the bikes, these girls would have to walk an hour just to get to school. Now the bikes cut the time in half, and they have more time to study in between school and work. Where do they work? The rubbish heaps nearby to earn extra income for the family. They pick things like plastic bottles and items that can be sold to recycling plants. The average income is $1.25USD per day picking rubbish. T
he Louts Pedals project goal is to not only provide bicycles to young girls but to increase awareness about the importance of education for the family as a whole. Lotus Outreach works with families and the schools, before enrolling in the schools Lotus Outreach staff meets with parents to identify needs and challenges for the kids to get to school. Lotus Outreach also helps to decrease the gender gap between girls and boys.
I asked one of the sister recipients what her favorite subject in school was and she said science because she loves the environment. The other said her favorite was social studies and Khmer traditional dancing class. The father said he hoped for the future of his kids involved getting a good job and to stay in school as long as they could afford it. I turned to the girls and asked what they wanted to be when they grew up - one said a primary school teacher and the other a doctor.
Dear friends,We would like to sincerely thank you for investing in the Lotus Pedals project. With your generous support, we have provided nearly 500 young girls with a ride to school and a chance at an education—the most powerful catalyst for eradicating poverty in the developing world.Did you know that an additional donation to Lotus Pedals can be matched 30% today?! GlobalGiving put up $50,000 in matching funds at 12:01 am EST, Wednesday March 14 to give your charitable contribution to our cause an extra boost. Check out how your donation today will grow:$10 = $13$50 = $66$75 = $100$150 = $200What’s more, for this first Bonus Day of the year GlobalGiving is awarding $1,000 to the project that raises the most money and another $1,000 to the project with the most unique donors. This is exactly how you won GlobalGiving’s Girl Effect Challenge for our Blossom Bus project last October, and we know you can do it again!But remember, once the $50,000 in matching funds runs out, the bonus boosts are over. So to make sure you snag that extra 30% AND put us in the running for the $1,000 bonus money, submit your donation now! Thanks again for your continued support!Lots of love,Lotus Outreach
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