Bicycle Program

There are not many similarities between Cambodia and Switzerland, but the transition between primary and secondary school is the same. Like in Switzerland, you spend the first six years attending a school in your own village. From grade 7 onwards you have to go to another school, which will normally be a longer distance from home. In Switzerland we usually have a school bus for long journeys to school, but in Cambodia it is different. In Cambodia many children have a long journey to school, which will be between eight and twenty kilometres each way. A lot of families can’t afford a bicycle.

Every October, bicycles are awarded to all students who graduated from the 6th grade at the four primary schools which Ponheary Ly Foundation (PLF) supports. Before PLF started with the “Bike to School Program” in 2007, only around 50% of the students went to grade 7. After the first year about 68% went to secondary school. Today there is more than a 90% attendance. This is not only because of the bicycle program but also because of the development of the schools with the help of PLF in the last few years.

The best quality bikes available in Cambodia are pre-owned bikes from Japan. They are in good condition. They arrive in containers to a local bike shop where they are refurbished with new lights, baskets, racks, brakes, bells, locks and tyres. The bikes are loaded into trucks and transported to the remote primary schools and the bikes are awarded on Opening Day in October in front of the whole school.

Most of the kids use the bicycles for more than five years. Even their families benefit. For example it is common that the mother takes the bicycle to go to the market.

The repairs are handled by local bike repair shops and mechanics in Siem Reap and in the villages near the schools. Students are given vouchers from PLF to have their bikes repaired without charge.

In October 2018 it is estimated 400 students are going to finish primary school and will have a much longer journey to school. Each bicycle costs $49 (incl. new equipment).

Can you help so these children can have access to secondary school?

Thank you very much for your support. We can change nothing without your help.

Videos about the bike distributions:
November 2014: 270 bicycles
November 2015: 332 bicycles
November 2016: 336 bicycles - Chey School - Romchek School - Koh Ker School
November 2017: 476 bicycles - ABCs and Rice - Chey School - Koh Ker School - Khnar Village Learning Center - Romchek School

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