The bicycles were presented under the project Dream Bikes through local partners such as, Ding Ding Yiriwa, Sama Kairo and Foni Ding Ding along with accessories such as helmets and traffic jackets. The bicycles also have baskets attached meant for school girls. According to the benefactors, this will help increase performance at school and reduce lateness among children.
Musu-Kebba Koma Bah, country director, Child Fund The Gambia, in a statement said the project launched in 2019, with a resolve to cater 10,000 bicycles to the neediest school going children has already witnessed the provision of about 3,000 bikes;1,000 bicycles was handed in 2019 followed by a similar presentation of the same number last year and again handing over of equal amount of bikes in 2021.
“Since the launch of the project in 2019 to provide bicycles to the neediest children to facilitate their easy transportation to schools, the project has witnessed the handing of about 3,000 bikes to our local implementing partners for an onward delivery to children.”
“We are all aware of the shock that hit the globe during the past year when the coronavirus emerged. Its effects devastated lives and have had severe consequences on children’s education in the form of school closure and families battling with financial obligations of their children attending school.”
“We therefore, hope that these bicycles will help wipe off the transport cost burden that some parents struggle to live with daily,” she said.
“Again we do not only give out the bicycles like that but also identify mechanics in communities to repair them on any fault,” she stated.
Kemo Jallow, representing the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, said the handing over of the bicycles to school children will no doubt assist them in accessing their various schools on time, adding that performance in exam results can only be achieved with great reduction of lateness at school.
“Performance in terms of examination results can be attained by the children after accessing their schools on time is realised. And this, we are witnessing today’s presentation of bicycles to the needy children and we will help them on their academic improvement,” he noted.
Speaking on behalf of the local partners, Buba Jatta, thanked Child Fund The Gambia for proving another batch of Dream Bicycles for their children, citing examples of the impact the previous presentation has had on the improvement of children at schools.
“We are very grateful for the presentation, knowing how the bicycles have impacted in improving the educational performance of the needy children we work with,” he said.