Students at Our Lady Queen of Peace, in Western Kenya, take their new Buffalo bicycles on parade to show their community The Power of Bicycles.
Our Lady Queen of Peace Secondary School is located in Muhoroni Township, Western Kenya. Muhoroni is best identified as a sugar production area. Most families work in sugar factories, as cane cutters or weed pullers. In the heart of this industrial area sits Our Lady of Peace, a cosmopolitan school that enrolls Muslim and Christian students. About ten years ago, ‘Queen’ was eliminated from the original name because people began to think the school was for girls only. “We had to cut the title from Our Lady Queen of Peace to encourage more enrollment from the boys,” said the school’s headmaster. During this transition, the school observed their girl students‘ rising potential and grew to greatly respect their efforts.
In October 2016, 100 Buffalo Bicycles were distributed to students at Our Lady of Peace. The school worked diligently with the community to educate everyone about the relevance of bicycles for accessing education. World Bicycle Relief’s education program (BEEP) prioritizes girls 70% over boys 30% – which aligned well with Our Lady’s student population.
At the distribution, the headmaster announced that the bicycles would improve performance at the school and public perception of girl students. To show this he had a plan. “We are all going for a test ride,” he said, “to make a parade from the bus stop to the drawbridge to tell the world our message is out. We have bicycles that will enhance our students’ performance, retention and attendance.”
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For more on how bicycles are creating an impact in communities like Muhoroni, check out this article in Kenya’s Daily Nation.
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