A Girl and A Bike
Part of NCP's Give a Girl a Chance program
In rural areas of the southern African country of Malawi, there are many reasons why
a child may not go beyond elementary school. Poverty, hunger, distance, crocodiles.
Yep! More flooding due to climate change brings crocs close to the paths they walk to
go to school!
And if you're a girl, there's early marriage: 46 percent of girls in Malawi are married
before they turn 18; 1 in 10 before the age of 15.
NCP is working on all these things in one way or another, but since high school is
7 to 14 away and many of the families have trouble with school fees - especially as
climate change is making it hard for them to grow crops to sell for income - we came
up with A Girl and A Bike! We're doing this in collaboration with our partner Creative
Solutions for the Environment, a grassroots Malawian organization, whose director
Taona Makunje has recently joined the NCP Advisory Board.
Late-breaking news: over the past year, NCP raised $30,000 to build two hostels for
Malawian girls attending high school 30 and 50 miles from home. Here's the album!
A sturdy used bike costs $65-$85, and we've sent funds for over 200 since 2019 - but "thousands" more girls would like one, says Taona. The girls' families are also poor enough that we send $35 for the first term's tuition to give them a "push" on their bike ride. Pitch in on a bicycle (a portion or the whole amount), add the tuition to bring it to $110+, and a girl and her bike can roll on to school! (If the family can't pay the rest of the fees, our Give a Girl a Chance fund helps with that.)
And there's a ripple effect - younger girls are studying harder in hopes of getting a bike and a scholarship themselves, as this may be the only way they can go to high school!
Make a donation yourself and/or have a fund-raiser at your school or congregation, sorority or scout troop. Donate whatever you can - anything helps! And as always, we send 100 percent of contributions to the programs.
Stiveria Vincent is 18 years old and really loves school. She must - before she got her bike she had to leave home a little before 5 am to make it to class at 8 am, as it was 14 miles - each way! Due to walking in the heat for long distances, she developed sores on both her feet and these being recurring and untreated, developed into further health problems for her.
It got to the point that she was missing school 2-3 days a week just because her legs couldn't allow her to walk for the whole week.
Now that she has her bike, she has not missed a day since!