As a 13-year-old, Priscah received a bicycle through World Bicycle Relief’s Bicycles for Educational Empowerment Program (BEEP). Five years later, Priscah’s parents and five younger siblings have also benefited from the life-changing power of Buffalo Bicycles. From accessing healthcare to transporting their family farm’s produce, this family is now on the move.
Priscah received a bicycle while she was in grade six at Chikanda Basic School in Mumbwa District, Central Zambia. Before her bicycle, Priscah would wake at 5 a.m. to walk the 8km to school in time for class at 7 a.m. She could not attend to morning chores at home because of the distance ahead of her. Priscah often ran to school in an effort to be punctual but frequently arrived late anyway.
As punishment for late attendance, Priscah was tasked with completing chores while class was in session. Even when she made it to school on time, her exhaustion made learning difficult. “I used to be tired, doze off and lacked concentration in class,” she said. Priscah also suffered from anxiety about falling behind in her studies.
After receiving a bicycle, Priscah was able to get an extra hour of sleep each morning and take care of her morning chores. After school, she would use the bicycle to fetch water, wash dishes and get home in time to study in the daylight. Her younger brother, Prince, would get a ride to and from the same school on the bicycle’s carrier.
When we first interviewed Priscah, she wanted to become a soldier. Years later, she now dreams of becoming a doctor. After her graduation from primary school, her bicycle was passed down to her brother. It has since been passed on to the next oldest sibling, who ferries two younger siblings on the back of the strong bicycle. The students travel 18 km roundtrip each school day.
Priscah’s parents own a small farm. With the help of the bicycle, they are able to carry more produce to sell at the market. When the local market price for their vegetables was too low, Priscah’s father pedaled to a market 20km away instead and earned a much fairer price. The extra income they earn enabled them to pay school fees, hire workers, and purchase a truck for the farm. Priscah’s father has even saved enough capital to build a store for his produce!
The parents were so inspired by the power of the bicycle to change their lives that they purchased a second Buffalo Bicycle for other siblings to use. All of their children are now at the top of their classes.
A single Buffalo Bicycle typically impacts five individuals. In the case of Priscah’s family, a total of eight people used her bicycle to improve the family business, access healthcare and travel to and from school. With a second Buffalo Bicycle, this family now has even more flexibility and freedom when it comes to transportation. Distance is no longer a barrier to the children’s educational dreams and the family’s business prospects.