Riding Toward a Dream

By Himangi Jayasundere, ChildFund Sri Lanka 

Today, which is known as Black Friday in the United States, is a great opportunity to think about sharing our good fortune with children in need. Dream Bikes allow children — especially girls — to get to school safely and quickly. 

Piyumi on her Dream Bike

Piyumi rides in her Sri Lankan village.

An impatient Piyumi, waiting for her father to take her to school, used to be a regular sight. Her teacher scolded her many times for being late, which she often was: Her long trek from home to school was more than two miles each way, on foot unless she could catch a ride on her father’s bicycle. Some days she stayed home because it was too difficult to get to school.

But today, she no longer has to catch a bicycle ride with her father or walk down village paths in Mahakalugolle, Sri Lanka. Piyumi, an 11-year-old sixth-grade student, has her own bike, thanks to a ChildFund donor.

Piyumi has been in ChildFund’s sponsorship program for more than five years. Last year, she sat for Sri Lanka’s Year 5 scholarship exam and passed with high marks, which made her school proud.

So, along with the bicycle, Piyumi also received school materials, a school bag and shoes from ChildFund donors, to recognize her hard work and achievements.

“Some days, I had to wait till my father finished his work to come to school,” Piyumi says. “But now soon as I get ready, I can come to school on my own. My brother also likes my new bicycle.” Sometimes he rides with her.

“I feel better knowing that Piyumi is on a bike on the journey back home,” her mother says. “I feel that she is safer.”

 

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