The Kasiisi Project, outside of Fort Portal in the Kabarole district of Uganda, is taking great measures to promote and support girls’ development. They focus on keeping girls in school, informing them about their sexual health, and helping them become economically independent. The project works with fourteen schools around the Kibale National Forest affecting nearly 10,000 students.
In support of their programs, Kasiisi, recently purchased a number of Buffalo Bicycles for their girl students. They see the bicycle as a way to reinforce the message of women’s empowerment as well as a tool to lower the high HIV/AIDS rates in their district. The main way that girls become exposed to HIV/AIDS is through boda-boda (motorcycle) drivers who are sexually abusive and/or ask for payment of boda rides with sexual favors. The HIV/AIDS rate in Kabarole district is 14%, double the national average of 7%. Approximately 30% of boda-boda drivers are thought to have HIV/AIDS.
Girls often have to travel long distances to reach school in this area, but with a bicycle, they can avoid the risk of abuse from boda-boda drivers and help decrease the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The first batch of 25 Buffalo Bicycles arrived in support of The Kasiisi Project in late September.