Schoolgirls in Tanzania have bicycles given to them to help them get to and from school safely thanks to generosity of Kenilworth residents

A fleet of 66 Bicycles has been provided to female pupils of a school in Tanzania thanks to the generosity of people in Kenilworth.

Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 11:22 pm
The schoolgirls receive their bicycles.

The Kenilworth-Uyogo Friendship Link group set up the Buy-A-Bike Alternative Gift Scheme which was launched in November 2020 by the current Mayor of Kenilworth Cllr Richard Dickson.

In the three months since then, generous donations from individuals and organisations in Kenilworth, such as Kenilworth Rotary Club, have raised nearly £4,000.

Donations arrived from beyond Kenilworth as well, as people were inspired by this practical way of making a difference to Uyogo schoolgirls’ education, and transforming their lives.

Mr Owden Mwakanema, Uyogo Chairman, allocating a bike to a schoolgirl.

Each bicycle, costing £50 and delivered to Uyogo, will make a huge difference to the life of secondary school girls in the area, some of whom live up to 26k away from school.

Having to walk long distances to school means those in the furthest villages away are struggling to attend.

Donors can now see a video of the bicycle presentation ceremony in Uyogo on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_gUThTw5DM&feature=youtu.beThe Secondary School owns the bikes and allocates them to their girl students, who often struggle more than boys to get schooling.

Each bike is numbered on the back mudguard so a record is kept of who has been allocated which bike; and each bike is marked "KUFL" on their chain guard, for security.

The 66 bikes lined up in Uyogo.

While the girls use the bikes they and their families are responsible for their bike's security and for all maintenance.

Bicycle "fundis" or experts abound in Uyogo and the nearest town Urambo so bike maintenance is no problem and spare parts are available.

When the girls finish school, after their Form 4 examinations, they will hand their bike back to the school, to be re-allocated to another girl student.

Kenilworth has had a friendship link with Uyogo in Tanzania for more than 40 years.

When the new government secondary school opened in the village, with a very wide catchment area, staff and parents feared that girls walking to school from their homes in neighbouring communities were at significant risk of being attacked.

Uyogo community leaders asked for help to provide bicycles for girls so they could cycle safely to and from school, in groups.

Delighted with the recent presentation of the first tranche of 66 bikes to secondary school girls in Uyogo, Cllr Richard Dickson said: "Kenilworth residents have always been very generous towards the people of Uyogo.

"I hope more people will contribute to this Buy-a-Bike scheme which lasts until the end of my mayoral term in May 2021; we plan a second Bike Presentation in June.

"I know there are more bright secondary school girls in Uyogo needing this practical help to pursue their education and create a better future."

More links, videos and photographs about KUFL’s work and other recent projects completed in 2020 can be found on www.kenilworthuyogofriendshiplink.org