World Bicycle Relief is grateful for the partnership of Marcelo Gutierrez in implementing the Bicycles for Educational Empowerment Program (BEEP) at Maracarí School in La Guajira, Colombia. You have contributed to the 288 life-changing Buffalo Bicycles distributed at the school, and a path out of poverty for students whose educations were at risk due to long and unsafe walks to school.
World Bicycle Relief has trained a Bicycle Supervisory Committee (BSC) made up of local community members who have selected students to receive Buffalo Bicycles. Students were selected based on distance traveled to school and vulnerability criteria created by the BSC. Eleven bicycles were allocated to BSC members and two mechanics at the school to help support the program.
All bicycles are not created equal. The Buffalo Bicycle is purpose-built for rugged conditions, heavy loads, and daily use by students. The students you’ve empowered can now reach school safely and on time. With their bicycles, students have extra time for studies, chores at home and after-school activities. Students also transport family members to health clinics and carry goods like water and grain to and from distant markets with their Buffalo Bicycles.
Distribution day is always an exciting time at our BEEP schools, as the community joins in and witnesses the students receive their Buffalo Bicycles and experience the exhilaration of their first rides. Students (and their parents) sign a contract pledging to attend classes regularly and use their Buffalo Bicycles to help their families outside of school. In exchange, Buffalo Bicycles will become students’ property after they graduate.
Globally, 2020 and 2021 have been challenging years, and in the countries where we work the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have had a profound impact on educational outcomes. The Buffalo Bicycles that you provided serve as a vital motivator to keep students in school.