At the beginning of each school year, we award bicycles to all students who graduated from Grade 6 at each of the five primary schools supported by PLF. These bikes enable students to get to secondary school, which are often many kilometers from their villages. They also serve as an enormous incentive to finish Grade 6 whether they continue to secondary school or not, and we have built a secondary incentive by awarding bicycles to the first and second ranked students in class for Grades 4 and 5.
The best quality bikes available in Cambodia are gently used bikes from Japan. They arrive in containers to a local bike shop where they are refurbished with new baskets, racks, brakes, bells, locks and tires. The bikes are loaded into trucks and transported to our remote primary schools and the bikes are awarded on Opening Day before the whole school.
Enrollment in secondary school rose 35% the first year we initiated our bicycle program and has improved every year since. In 2007 we awarded 113 bicycles. In 2016 we awarded 377 bicycles.
Check out this video made by our Swiss partners at Eyes-Open about bicycle distribution at Tchey School!