World Vision Zambia launches bicycle fundraiser for vulnerable girls under for the Strong Girls Strong Zambia Campaign.

World Vision Zambia, in partnership with World Bicycle Relief Zambia, has launched a fundraiser to purchase 2,000 bicycles for vulnerable girls to shorten their commute time to school. This is under the ‘Strong Girls Strong Zambia’ Campaign, which provides practical and sustainable solutions through the education support of 15,000 vulnerable girls in different parts of Zambia.

Speaking at the fundraising cocktail in Lusaka, World Vision Zambia Board Chairperson, Mable Mung’omba, said World Vision is driven by the belief that every child deserves a fair chance in life regardless of their gender.

“When you give a bicycle, it’s almost like you are turning the wheels of the future for the girl children. So, it’s very appropriate that this campaign chose a bicycle because it’s not only about riding it but it’s also about turning the wheels of the future of girls. We believe that empowering girls is not just a matter of equality. It is an investment in the future of our nation”, she said.

World Vision Zambia National Director, John Hasse, said access to education is a key factor of breaking the cycle of poverty and the reason why World Vision is giving girls in rural areas the opportunity to breach those long distances that present as a barrier to them accessing education.

“Thousands and thousands of girls across Zambia are still walking those long distances, and our concern as World Vision is that not only does that consume a lot of time but it poses a security risk for them. Many girls are knocked out of school because of things that happen along the way that are unethical and evil so we want to give them a simple bicycle. This simple thing can ensure the safety of a girl and give a lot of girls more hope. I think it will be more than 2,000 girls, because you can have two or three girls on the back. One’s peddling and they’re taking turns every week on who’s peddling and who’s not peddling”, he said.

Mr. Hasse urged people to give and purchase bicycles and also spread the news for others to buy bicycles as well especially during the festive season, which is about giving.

Speaking on behalf of World Bicycle Relief Zambia Country Director, Brian Moonga, Operations Manager, Caesar Majata said the buffalo bicycles are good for the girls because they are made to carry heavy loads, are of low maintenance and last very long.

“When you give a bicycle, you’re actually giving a present for life. For the girls in our programme, we normally give them bicycles around the third grade, and the bicycle has, in most instances lasted up to the time they complete their 12th grade, and they even pass it on to the next child to use. You won’t believe how many life-changing events follow a bicycle. It helps them go to the clinic, to sell produce, and so many others”, he said.

Zanaco Head Communications, Kyembe Kyalusanza, commended World Vision for implementing the ‘Strong Girls Strong Zambia’ campaign which shows their unwavering commitment to improving the lives of girls in rural communities, and pledged more support.

“The initiative to retrieve 15,000 girls from early marriage is no mean feat and is a testament of your dedication to creating a brighter and more positive future for Zambian girls. Today, as a proud partner of the ‘Strong Girls Strong Zambia’ campaign, I am thrilled to announce that Zanaco is pledging 175,000 Kwacha towards the purchasing of 50 bicycles to support this cause. We firmly believe that education is the key to empowerment, and that every girl, regardless of her circumstances, deserves the opportunity to access quality education,” she said.

A raffle draw was held for a bicycle, which was scooped by Michael Nkosi, as well as for other branded products.

The ‘Strong Girls Strong Zambia’ campaign aims to reduce child marriage from 29% to 5% in World Vision Zambia’s areas of operation by reaching and empowering 15,000 girls both retrieved from child marriages and those at risk to live safer, healthier, more productive lives by 2025.