Indian girl

Day of the Girl 2015

Empowerment of and investment in girls are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights” -United Nations Resolution 66/170

Today, October 11, is the Day of the Girl, a day that just two years ago was declared by the United Nations as the International Day of the Girl Child to raise awareness about all issues concerning gender inequality around the world.  It’s a day when activist groups come together under the same goal to highlight, discuss, and take action to advance rights and opportunities for girls everywhere. Fast forward two years and the Day of the Girl has become a global movement of hope, inspiration and advocacy to better the lives of half our planet who is being left behind.

Indian girlSo why girls? 

As girls, we experience inequality in every aspect of our lives. There are a billion reasons why we need the Day of the Girl, but let’s start with just a dozen (all are linked to their source. Just double click on statistic and you can read it in full):

*Source:  Day of the Girl 

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World Bicycle Relief Zambia

Spread Joy and Opportunity – The Power of A Bicycle

This is a guest post written by Ruth-Anne Renaud who recently joined the team at World Bicycle Relief as director of global marketing. Her bio is located at the end of this post. 

I distinctly remember the Christmas I received my first bike. It was sparkly blue, with a banana seat, training wheels and a basket. I knew it would take me everywhere once the snow melted. This fall, new memories have been imprinted on my heart on what it means to receive a bike.

Destination: Zambia, Africa. I had just started my new role as Director of Global Marketing at World Bicycle Relief (WBR) and I participated in one of our immersion trips called Africa Rides. Together with about a dozen supporters and partners – I spent a week learning how a bicycle can transform the lives of students, healthcare workers, entrepreneurs and their communities.

At the outset of the trip, we spent a day at WBR’s Zambia headquarters to learn about the scale of the bike distribution program, the criteria for selecting field partners and recipients, and the deliberate, yet simple rugged design of the innovative Buffalo Bike. In fact – we had to assemble our own Buffalo Bike.

Here is a Bufollo Bike

Here is a Buffalo Bike (with a holiday bow that can be given to children and health workers in need via World Bicycle Relief).

It was a daunting task since I’m not particularly mechanically inclined. But I am proud to share – after a successful quality control check – I rode that bike over the next several days with our group of Africa Rides travelers visiting villages and schools. I physically experienced the searing mid-day heat, the distance and rugged dirt paths that felt like they were never quite going to end – to get to school, back home or to get water from an isolated well. I felt what it meant to be constantly chasing daylight.

World Bicycle Relief Zambia

Here I am helping a young girl ride her new bike.
Photo credit: World Bicycle Relief

World Bicycle Relief Zambia

Here I am helping Grace learn about her new bike. 
Photo credit: World Bicycle Relief

World Bicycle Relief Zambia

And she’s off!
Photo credit: World Bicycle Relief

World Bicycle Relief Zambia

Riding through the gravel roads of Zambia
Photo Credit: World Bicycle Relief

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