Sierra Leone Beneficiaries

Alhaji

Alhaji

Alhaji is from the village of Lunsar, about 120 miles from the capital city. People in Lunsar have rarely used bikes in the past, even though people commonly walk many miles every day.

Alhaji uses his bicycle many times each day. He has a good job collecting data for a company five miles away from his home. If he didn't have his bicycle, he would be forced to pay 4,000 (about $1USD) per day to travel by Okada to and from work. When Alhaji isn't using the bicycle, he will let his 12 year old brogther use it to go and buy food from the market in Lunsar.

Alhaji said, "I want to say thank you, because without this bike I was really straining to go to work and back and it is really a great help to me now. We are the first people in Lunsar provided bicycles and we are gragteful for that."

Isita Mansaray

Isita Mansaray

Good parts are hard to come by in Sierra Leone and the environment is harsh on a bicycle. Keeping the bike in good working order has been a challenge to local owners.

Isita gets help from her family to keep her bike rolling smoothly and reliably. Isita's older brother beamed with pride as Isita rode down the street on her bike. He said that he helps keep her bike in good working order. Isita attends school that is over two hours away making her riding skills even more valuable.

Mariama Kaigho

Mariama

Mariama is part of the Learn to Ride program at the Educaid Secondary School in Port Loko. As part of the Learn to Ride program offered through the Village Bicycle Project, Sierra Leone girls are taught how to care for their bicycles to ensure a long lasting usable bike.

Mariama had an especially challenging time learning how to ride a bicycle through this program until instructors figured out a way to get their message across. Mariama is deaf and mute and her only means of communication are writing and gestures. She experienced a great deal of frustration over being misunderstood even while attempting the simplest of tasks.

She refuses to let anything stand between her and success, however, and has mastered her school work AND learning to ride a bike. When she was able to push off for the first time by herself her smile said it all -- the hard work was paying off.

 

Village Bicycle Project

All beneficiary stories and photos courtesy Village Bicycle Project