A Zambian Student receives her first bicycle from WBR
Tamara lost her parents when she was young. Now, she lives with her grandmother, aunt, uncle, and four siblings in Kampongwe. Her favorite school subject is English, and she has dreams of becoming a teacher. “Tamara is a hard worker and likes going to school,” said Tamara’s grandmother, Tisaine Phiri.
But before she received a Buffalo Bicycle, Tamara often missed classes because of the distance and difficult route. She would walk 4km (2.5mi) along challenging roads to Kabulanga Primary School in the Kafue District of Zambia. And this was after performing her daily morning chores: cooking, cleaning, fetching water, and washing dishes.
On July 14, 2014, Tamara’s world changed— she and 100 other students and teachers at Kabulanga Primary School received their WBR Buffalo Bicycles!
On the day Tamara received her Buffalo Bicycle, her proud uncle was relieved. “It means she will conquer the challenge of distance. She can go to school every day, and she can be happy.”
No one in Tamara’s family has ever owned a bike, so the first order of business was learning how to ride! “For the past two weeks, I’ve been borrowing the headmaster’s bike to ride at school. As I was learning, they would hold the rack until they let go, and I was on my own. I couldn’t believe I was doing it myself.”
For Tamara and her family, a bike means independence. “We will use this bike as a family,” said Tamara’s aunt. “On Saturdays, we will be able to take maize to the mill to grind.” Tamara will also use the bicycle to go to church on Sundays.
On the day Tamara received her first bicycle, the District Minister of Education quoted the Zambian education motto: quality education begins with me. He also recognized The Power of Bicycles by saying, “The key to becoming a doctor or nurse is education, and the bicycle is central to education.”
Two mechanics were trained to service the bicycles for the school and surrounding communities, ensuring the bikes remain in working condition.
Bicycles are often handed down to younger siblings when students like Tamara move on to secondary school.
With a single bicycle, Tamara has the power to achieve her dream of completing school and becoming a teacher. After Tamara received her bicycle, her grandmother said, “Today, a great thing has happened. When I saw Tamara’s face, I saw joy.”
Our Bicycles for Educational Empowerment Program continues to provide bikes to students, teachers and education workers in rural Africa. Program studies have shown that bicycles have a tremendous positive impact on students’ grades and school attendance.
Even the families of students benefit from Buffalo Bicycles, as they use these bikes when school is not in session to access healthcare and improve their business.