Bikes for the World

Friday, October 16, 2015

My Favorite Subject Is....

Village Bicycle Project (VBP) knows first hand how important a bicycle can be to a student in Ghana or Sierra Leone. We donate thousands of bicycles annually to Village Bicycle Project both in Ghana and Sierra Leone. In Sierra Leone, VBP operates a Bike Library that loans bikes to students to help them stay in school and graduate. Through their Learn 2 Ride program they are able to teach some students how to ride a bike for the very first time.

A recent report from VBP Director Dave Peckham indicates that some of these students are no longer using the bikes in their Bike Library. We see this as a very good problem to have, since some of the students below have already left the program since graduating high school!

ENGLISH Alusine  walks for an hour to school each morning with his younger brothers and sisters and is always eager for his English class, since he loves to read and write.  He plans to study English when he goes to college and wants to travel around the U.K., U.S., and South Africa before coming back to Sierra Leone to become an English teacher.   

He helps Educaid staff maintain the school grounds and his teachers say he is a big help with some of the younger children.

INTEGRATED SCIENCE Assan lives in a village called Mamalikie, which is about a two and a half hour walk from his school.  He lives with his mother and helps her take care of his five younger siblings. 

His favorite class is Integrated Science and he wants to go to university to study biology.  He loves science because he says he wants to “understand how the world works.”  He will use a VBP library bicycle to reach school every day and help him work on reaching his goals.

ART Fatamata is quick to laugh and loves fashion and art.  She lives with her brothers and sisters at her grandmother’s house, about a two hour walk away from her school. 

While she was participating in VBP’s Learn to Ride program, her older sister passed away from malaria.  Despite being devastated by the loss of her sister, Fatamata decided to only take a few days off from school because she knew her sister wanted her to succeed at school.  Fatamata is planning to go to college.

MATH Fatima is 20 and one of the older students in school. Fatima left school about ten years ago when the war broke out and her parents passed away.  To support herself and her brother, she learned how to be a seamstress from the Red Cross but never gave up on her hope to complete secondary school. 

With support from her aunt and the encouragement of teachers she re-enrolled in 2010 and loves being back in school.  She hopes to become an accountant some day and has especially enjoyed her math class.

PE Hawa lives in Rubeiki and has a 90 minute walk to school.  Physical education has always been her favorite subject in school, which isn’t surprising considering how quickly she picked up riding.

She lives with her mother and helps her on their farm after she gets home from school.  Hawa loves school and hopes to be a nurse some day but often feels afraid walking to school, since she walks alone.  By using one of our library bicycles she’ll be able to get to school faster and feel safer along the way.

BUSINESS Mamasu walks two and a half hours to reach school from her village, Bonline, where she lives with her parents and five siblings.  Mamasu likes her Business Studies class and wants to become a lawyer so she can support her family. 

She had never ridden a bicycle before she began the Learn to Ride program but picked it up quickly.  Mamasu is excited to start riding a bike to school so that she doesn’t have to be afraid of coming across snakes on her way to school anymore.

RELIGIOUS STUDIES Margaret  lives with her father, grandmother, five brothers, and four sisters. Her house is about a three hour walk away from her school.  She loves reading and her favorite class is her Religious Studies class. 

Before starting the Learn to Ride program, she felt nervous about trying to ride a bike on some of the busy streets around Lunsar. After a little practice on the obstacle course she now feels more prepared. 

CHEMISTRY Mariatu loves studying science, Chemistry in particular.  Since both of her parents passed away a few years ago, she lives with her grandmother and is the oldest of 8 children. 

It takes her two hours to walk to school every morning and she can’t wait to use one of VBP’s bikes in the fall.  By ensuring that Mariatu will have faster transportation to school, the VBP bicycle library at her school is doing a small part toward helping her reach her dream of being a doctor someday.   

LANGUAGE ARTS Mariama has been deaf and mute since birth and communicates with her teachers and fellow students using writing and gestures.  Since American Sign Language is not widely used in Sierra Leone, Mariama’s resourcefulness (and patience!) is tested daily as she completes her schoolwork.  

She is extremely determined to succeed in school.  Language Arts is her favorite class and she thinks she might want to be a writer some day. More than anything, she wants to travel, though, so she can see the world.


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