Project - Lotus Pedals

Lotus Pedals

See our updated report as the girls received their bicycles.

Even compared with other developing nations, Cambodia lags in the realm of girls' education: whereas 43 percent of girls in the developing world attend secondary school, only 11 percent of Cambodian girls do. In many of these communities, the road to school is long and full of hazards. In addition to the time and opportunity costs of traversing lengthy distances to school by foot, rural Cambodian girls face a high incidence of sexual violence in their communities, and walking to school alone increases their risk. By supplying all-terrain bicycles to the poorest girls living a minimum of one mile from their nearest public school, Lotus Pedals has become a powerful component for girls to obtain education.

Lotus Outreach Cambodia (LOCAM) collaborates with local NGO partners to identify girls in target districts as possible Lotus Pedals recipients. Each recipient is monitored for up to two years to ensure the gift of bicycle transportation continues to makes a meaningful impact for every student-rider after the distribution ceremony. Each Pedals' student's parents are asked to sign a contract in which they agree to keep the girls in school at least for two years or return the bike.

Lotus Pedals is modeled upon self-reliance and sustainability. A one-time gift of a bicycle will not only ensure a girl can complete high school and better provide for her future family, but provides immediate benefits to her parents, neighbors and siblings as well. Bicycle recipients will often provide rides to their sisters and neighbors, multiplying the number of young children reaching classrooms each day. Furthermore, many families use the bicycle (the first form of transport they have ever known) outside of school hours to engage in economic activity, such as taking goods to market.

Forix has funded the purchase of 181 bicycles for girls this coming November. Another 132 bicycles will be added by additional funders. Watch this video made by a bicycle recipient: