War in Ukraine leaves millions displaced

A bicycle helps a girl continue her education

A bicycle helps a girl continue her education

13 year-old Mathanika walks on the dusty road. Her daily walk to and from school leaves her tired before arriving and takes valuable time out of her day that she needs for chores and homework.

Mathanika is a smart 13-year-old girl who enjoys studying. She lives in Batticaloa, a major city on the eastern coast of Sri Lanka. Mathanika is in the top of her class, participates in school competitions and likes to attend church activities. One of her favorite hobbies is drawing and handwriting. Mathanika’s greatest wish is to continue going to school.

Mathanika Mathanika’s father left the family when she was two and her mother passed away one year ago after a battle with cancer. Mathanika and her sister now live with their aunt. Although Mathanika’s aunt tries her best to raise them, she worries about being able to continue paying for their education, in addition to their basic needs. 

Mathanika with her aunt and sister

A daily challenge Mathanika faces is getting to school. This all changed with a bicycle.

We learned about Mathanika and her sister and immediately stepped in to help. We first made sure the girls’ basic needs were met and their school was paid for. The best part was seeing Mathanika’s reaction when she got her new bicycle. With her bike, Mathanika now gets to school quickly and more safely.

Mathanika with her bike

Bicycles empower girls like Mathanika to continue their education. In places like Sri Lanka, bicycles have been shown to increase school enrollment of girls and help kids perform better in their studies“I am very happy to have a bicycle,” says Mathanika. “I now get to school quickly and can take extra classes.” Mathanika now uses her extra time to study and help her aunt with groceries and chores.

Mathanika and her younger sister ride to school together

There are many more children like Mathanika whose families struggle to keep them in school. Your support will empower children to get an education and reach their dreams.

Help children go back to school this year

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