Recent statistics show that of the estimated 17 million children in school in South Africa, 11 million walk to school each day, with 500 000 of these learners walk more than an hour (up to 6km) one way. In rural areas more learners drop out of school after due to travelling long distance. A lack of transportation and infrastructure causes parents to drop their daughters out of school. The results of school drop out are labour work, early marriages, pregnancy, and girls are more likely to be exposed to violence. Through education girls can become independent and successful. It releases them from poverty and repression. The GET-A-RURALGIRL-A-BIKE Programme aims to empower tomorrow girl leaders that are faced with travelling long distances to school with a bicycle, helmet, spanner, pump and lock.
Giving a bicycle to a girl makes it possible to save travel time and focus on her studies. The journey to school becomes safer and faster than before. The learner and parents or guardian are required to sign an agreement which stipulates the terms and conditions of using the bicycle (for example, that the bicycle will be used to attend school). A bicycle Supervisor Committee is also set up at each recipient school, including representatives from the school, students governing body, local community leaders, and parents. The Bicycle Supervisory Committee’s role is not only to select beneficiaries, but also govern the two- year’s use of the bicycle.