Many children drop-out of formal schooling because of lack of transport in the rural villages. The gift of bicycles come in handy, not only does it enable the child to get to school s/he can take another child - a sibling or a neighbour easing the situation further.
The project focused on Hambantota in the south, Killinochchi, Trincomalee and Polonnaruwa in the north and north eastern region and a little on the western area where there was a need in a community in Kurunegala.
The project did the selections of beneficiary children in consultation with the Grama Niladaris (village headman) considering some criteria like - their family income, number of siblings, parental support and whether any disabled persons were living in their homes. Another important criteria for the selection was the distance to school (3 kms or more one way) and how the child was affected by transport or the lack of it. The parents appreciated the gesture, and also principals and other government officials praised the efforts of LEADS. School principals have said that more supported is needed as several needy students are having high absenteeism in school because they have no means of transport and have to walk far.
In Kurunegala LEADS District Officer presented the bicycles to three men who were engaged in self-employment. These people were very happy and grateful for providing them with a mode of transport. They said they can now get about very easily.
In the north parents from very poor family said they were relieved to have a bicycle – now our children can attend school regularly. Otherwise they wait for a lorry or truck to get a lift to school. If they do not get a ride they must walk 7-10 kms. The highest number of bicycles were distributed in Kilinochchi districts, 23 bicycles were given to school children.
“Give a bicycle and send a child to school” was the slogan of this campaign.
If you would like to join this campaign please contact us