World Bicycle Relief is grateful for the partnership of Palo Alto Networks in implementing the Bicycles for Educational Empowerment Program (BEEP) at St Stephen’s Shiatsala Secondary School in Kakamega, Kenya. Palo Alto Networks has provided 65 life-changing Buffalo Bicycles 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.
All bicycles are not created equal. The Buffalo Bicycle is purpose-built for rugged conditions, heavy loads, and daily use by students like those at St Stephen’s Shiatsala Secondary School. 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. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the celebration was smaller than usual but no less joyous as students received their Buffalo Bicycles and experienced the exhilaration of their first rides. Students (and their parents) signed 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.
After a year like 2020, where schools were closed for most of the year to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic, the bicycles help motivate students to go back to school. The bikes also help the recipients‘ families during this challenging time globally. They are able to use the Buffalo Bicycles that you provided to help with their livelihoods and day-to-day chores, as well as to access healthcare and other essential goods and services.