World Bicycle Relief Organisation has donated 184 bicycles to students at Chimbowe and Kachokolo community day secondary schools (CDSSs) and essential service providers in traditional authorities (T/As)Wimbe and Chulu in Kasungu.
Speaking in an interview on Tuesday, the organisation’s Aprogrammes manager Palikena Kaude said a baseline survey conducted last year showed that students, health workers, agriculture extension workers and police officers were facing mobility challenges.
“We expect that the bicycles will enable health workers to reach out to people in hard-to-reach areas with their services,” she said.
Kaude said they targeted 70 percent of girls as the survey showed that there was high school dropout rate among girls because of long distances to school.
“We want them to remain in school and complete their studies,” she said.
Chimbowe CDSS student Filipina Lemani thanked the organisation for the donation.
“We used to report late for classes because of long distances to school. The bicycles will motivate us to work hard,” she said.
On her part, Central East Education Division representative Mervin Chilongo said she will encourage the beneficiaries to take care of the bicycles.
In his remarks, Kasungu East legislator Madalitso Kazombo said the initiative will promote girls’ education and health service delivery in the area.
“If we educate more girls, we will address poverty in their homes. This will contribute to the area’s development,” said the legislator who is also First Deputy Speaker of Parliament.
The organisation gave 57 bicycles to Chimbowe CDSS students and 46 went to Kachokolo CDSS students. The remainder were given to agriculture extension workers, health workers and police officers.
World Bicycle Relief Organisation is implementing a Mobilised Communities Project in T/As Wimbe and Chulu in the district.