Originally published: January 2015
With the roads in bad shape, returning to school proved difficult and expensive. Dilshani’s father walked the children to a nearby junction to catch the bus for 20 rupees. Without sustainable transportation, Dilshani was unable to attend extra classes essential for educational success in Sri Lanka.
After her family received a bike, Dilshani had options. If she was short on bus fare, she would ride the bicycle, which was faster and safer than walking. Describing how boys would tease girls while walking to school, Dilshani said “if we are walking, we go together and shout at them. To avoid them when we are bicycling, we can speed up.”
Embracing her belief that we should grow up and help people, Dilshani completed a one-year nursing school program innear Eravur in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. and is continuing her study to become a midwife.
Now 20 years old, Dilshani looks back at the moment her family received a bicycle from World Bicycle Relief with thanks. “The bicycle allows me to continue my education and follow my passion to help pregnant women.”
The very same bicycle, provided 10 years ago now helps her younger sister, Dilogini get to school.
Photos: Leah Missbach Day, Mike Weyerhaeuser