RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Hirabai, a 14-year-old girl from a small village in India, would miss hours and even days at a time from school because of the long trek it took to get there. Sometimes the distance made it too difficult to travel.
“She’s representative of thousands if not millions of girls around the world,” said Betsy Edwards with ChildFund International.
Hirabai and girls like her are the reason ChildFund International started the “Dream Bikes” initiative.
“We provide girls in 12 countries, with bikes that allow them to ride safely and quickly to school,” said Edwards.
The non-profit has teamed up with the UCI Bike Race to help promote their program and raise funds to help girls like Hirabai in developing countries.
“Bikes are enablers, bikes are ways to make dreams come true, whether it’s for a sport, or whether it’s for somebody getting an education,” said Edwards.
Each bike costs $100. ChildFund International has partnered with UCI to get the community involved in buying bikes.
“Put together a 10 bike challenge, take it out to businesses, companies, clubs, schools, individuals with friends and say hey go raise a $1,000 and know you can buy 10 bikes,” said Edwards.
Edwards says it may seem like a simple gesture.
“I gave a girl a bike and now she’s going to be able to get to school in 15 minutes as opposed to an hour,” she said.
But she says it allows girls to continue their education, helps them, their families, and ultimately their community.