Lotus Pedals - Help Cambodian Girls Get to School!

by Lotus Outreach Vetted since 2009 Top Ranked Effective Nonprofit Site Visit Verified
Lotus Pedals - Help Cambodian Girls Get to School!
Lotus Pedals - Help Cambodian Girls Get to School!
Lotus Pedals - Help Cambodian Girls Get to School!
Lotus Pedals - Help Cambodian Girls Get to School!
Lotus Pedals - Help Cambodian Girls Get to School!
Lotus Pedals - Help Cambodian Girls Get to School!
Lotus Pedals - Help Cambodian Girls Get to School!
Lotus Pedals - Help Cambodian Girls Get to School!
Lotus Pedals - Help Cambodian Girls Get to School!
Lotus Pedals - Help Cambodian Girls Get to School!
Lotus Pedals - Help Cambodian Girls Get to School!
Lotus Pedals - Help Cambodian Girls Get to School!
Lotus Pedals - Help Cambodian Girls Get to School!
Lotus Pedals - Help Cambodian Girls Get to School!
Lotus Pedals - Help Cambodian Girls Get to School!
Lotus Pedals - Help Cambodian Girls Get to School!

Lotus Pedals helps to provide all-terrain bicycles to girls in rural areas who would not otherwise be able to travel the long distance to school. By supplying bicycles to the poorest girls living a minimum of one mile from their nearest public school, this program is a powerful component to our education efforts in both India and Cambodia.

Last December, we gave away 17 bicycles to girl students in Battambang Province in collaboration with our local partner, Cambodian Volunteers for Community Development (CVCD). Let's meet one of the beneficiaries, Sreylim!

Sreylim is 14-years-old and the first daughter of a family of 5 children (3 boys and 2 girls). She is studying in 7th grade at Boeung Bram Secondary School. Her mother, 40 years old, is a single mother and the only income earner in the family. She migrates for seasonal work along the Thai border making $5 per day, leaving Sreylim and 4 other children in the care of her parents. As the first daughter, Sreylim always helps her grandparents look after her younger brothers and sister.

Sreylim lives 4kms from school and was community on foot everyday as her mother couldn't afford to buy her a bicycle. When it became too much, she decided to drop out. Sreylim explains, “I decided to quit school before getting the bicycle because I had to walk to school everyday, around 8kms round trip. Sometimes I got to school late, sometimes I had to miss school. Most of the time I felt tired when I got to school and couldn’t concentrate on the lesson which impacted my school performance.”

 A new bicycle has made all the difference for Sreylim.

"I am very grateful to receive this bicycle. I promise I will not miss school any more. I will study hard to become a teacher so that I can contribute my knowledge to develop my community in the future.”

In 2019, Lotus Pedals is planning to giveaway 420 bicycles to female students like Sreylim, starting with 50 bicycles to be distributed in March. Thanks to all the generous donors that make it possible to keep thousands of girls in school longer through Lotus Pedals!

In 2018 Lotus Pedals plans on providing 328 bicycle packages to vulnerable girls in Cambodia to assist them in commuting to school. So far, the program has given 267 bike packages to girls in different locations such as Siem Reap Province, Pursat Province, Kampot Province, Svay Rieng Province, and Phnom Penh Capital City. Another 61 bicycle packages are going to be distributed in December to Battambang Province and Siem Reap Province.

Each bicycle package includes:

  1. A Bicycle
  2. A Pump
  3. A Lock
  4. A Repair Kit
    • A set of double open-ended spanners (5 pieces)
    • A hex key
    • A screwdriver
    • A set of puncture repair kit

The latest bicycle giveaway ceremony was held on November 15 at Svay Rieng Province, where 80 bicycle packages were distributed. These photos show the beaming faces of the new bike owners! A couple of the beneficiaries share their stories with us below.

Ravy is 15 years old, studying in 10th grade. She lives around 8kms from school. She was very excited and delighted to get a bicycle from the program. She recalled how difficult it was without a bike, “I used to ask my neighbor for a lift to school, but sometimes I had to miss some sessions as my neighbor’s timetable is different from mine—her class starts at 8am whereas mine at 7am. Now that I have a bike, I will never ever be late for school again”, Ravy said determined. Ravy aspires to be an English translator in the future.

Leak is 16 years old, studying in 11th grade. She lives around 10kms from school. When being asked if she has any difficulties getting to school, Leak responded, “I used to have a bike that broke down twice a week, so I was often late for school. This new bike is a precious gift that encourages me to study harder to become a teacher and I will not get to school late any more”, Leak added.

Thank you for supporting Lotus Pedals riders like Ravy and Leak. It is with your help that these students are given hope. 

Ravy, a Lotus Pedals Student
Ravy, a Lotus Pedals Student
Pisey our Project Officer with recipients
Pisey our Project Officer with recipients

Lotus Pedals (LP) aims to increase access to education for economically vulnerable girls especially where distances between their places of residence and the nearest primary or secondary school causes a severe hindrance to their school attendance. The program seeks to improve attendance, academic performance and increase transition rates from primary to lower secondary school for girl children by providing them with a bicycle and repair kit. The bicycle sets are awarded based on selection criteria developed by Lotus Outreach Cambodia (LOCAM) in collaboration with various partners to ensure the neediest girls are prioritized.

On June 5, 2018 Lotus Pedals was able to give away 100 bicycles to underprivileged female students who are from 8 communes (No Rea, Krang Snay, Beung Nimol, Tromaeng, Chres, Baniev, Krang Sbov, and Tor Tung) of 3 districts (Chhouk, Chum Kiri, and Dang Tong) in Kampot Province. The event took place at Chhouk District Education Office with presence of 100 recipients and their parent/guardian, their school teachers, and the Executive Director of Lotus Outreach International.

Each recipient received a bicycle, a pump, a lock, a set of repair kit consisting of a set of double open-ended spanners (5 pieces), a hex key, a screwdriver and a set of puncture repair kit.

While recipients were leaving the event, I noticed one of the recipients standing outside the gate in the sun holding on to her bike, so I approached her and asked what she was doing there all by herself. She said she was waiting for her grandmother. And then she started to show me her feet and explained, ‘look at my feet! I’ve been walking to school since I was in 1stgrade.’ The girl’s name is Oun, 16 years old and in grade 6. She lives with her grandmother about 3kms from school.

When being asked if she has siblings and about her parents, Oun sadly replied, ‘I have two siblings but they are living with my mom in Kompong Som Province. I live with my grandmother in Kampot Province because I couldn’t stand the torture my step father did to me.’ Oun showed her fingers and continued, ‘he broke my fingers.’

Living with her grandmother is not easy because she is old and doesn’t have anything to do to support their livelihood beside rice farming, so Oun needs to help her grandmother growing rice when she is off from school. Despites how hard life is, she is doing pretty well at school. She ranks 5th in the class.

Thank YOU for making these Lotus Pedals bike scholarships possible!

Oun with her bicycle
Oun with her bicycle
More new bike owners
More new bike owners
A Lotus Pedals beneficiary and her family
A Lotus Pedals beneficiary and her family
Thrilled to have a bike!
Thrilled to have a bike!

In comparison to the broader developing world, Cambodia is falling behind in the realm of girls' education. Only 11% of Cambodian girls attend secondary school compared to 43% in the developing world more broadly. One of the key barriers to girls' education in Cambodia is lack of transportation. As a part of a comprehensive scholarship initiative, Lotus Outreach is raising funds to purchase bicycles and repair kits to ensure hundreds of girls can get to school each day.

By providing bicycles and repair kits to girls who live over 1.5 kilometers from the nearest public schoolhouse and monitor the attendance and academic performance of girls by providing early intervention to ensure they do not drop out of school. These bicycle scholarships are transforming the lives of these young women, and our advocacy efforts in households and communities is shifting limiting social narratives. The girls are beacons of hope for other young women in their communities.

Lotus Outreach Cambodia implemented a Lotus Pedals Program bike giveaway in Pursat Province on May 17th at the Education Office of Kravanh District. 50 bikes were given to girl students from Samrong and Pteah Rong Communes. 

The bikes were presented to the most in need students from families living in poverty so that their children can reach school regularly and on time. Departments of Education and community welfare officers assisted the program in identifying the most in need children living in poverty.

Thank you for providing access to education to these driven young girls! 

Bright and shining orphan girls on their bikes.
Bright and shining orphan girls on their bikes.

We assembled at Prey Chhlak Pagoda which is the home of the Buddhist social development organization, Santi Sena, one of Lotus Outreach Cambodia long term partners, to deliver 50 bicycles to children of the poorest of poor families that were identified by the department of social affairs and organized with assistance local school authorities in the target villages.

On this occasion there were also several orphans present who gave us the biggest waves and smiles of appreciation of any of the children receiving bikes on that day and which gave pause for a melting heart in my case. The orphans were not at all shy and withdrawn which could be the case given they are living in an orphanage without parents; rather they were radiant and filled with bright joy.

According to reports, poverty in Cambodia has been reduced considerably in the past 10 years, unfortunately 90% of Cambodia’s poor remain in the rural areas and even small children have to travel great distances to primary school.

Getting to lower secondary schools is much tougher and only 36% of all girls enrolling at all and with a 20% drop out rate from classes 6-8. [1]

Although economic reasons are the top three reasons for school dropout, 75% said they needed to supplement income through household chores or domestic work. 33% of dropouts and parents/guardians cited school-related expenses as the main reason to drop out while 10% felt that distance was the main issue.

While the double-edged sword of needing to earn income to support family and the expense of schooling in Cambodia, Lotus Pedals has made it possible for more than 2500 children of these poor families to own a bicycle and which verifiably makes a huge difference to their attendance and ability to remain in school.

[1] https://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/cambodia_statistics.html

Children of poor families often share their bikes!
Children of poor families often share their bikes!
Girl scholars at Prey Chhlak Pagoda.
Girl scholars at Prey Chhlak Pagoda.
 

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Organization Information

Lotus Outreach

Location: Ojai, California - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @lotusoutreach
Project Leader:
Alexandra Land
Ojai, CA United States

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