Today we traveled to World Bicycle Relief, which is an organization designed to provide sturdy and well-built bikes to school children that have to travel a long way to access education. At the organization’s headquarters, we were shown the factory, and were welcomed to build our own bikes. Our guide told us how difficult it can be for kids to get to school, especially when the weather doesn’t cooperate. Kids can miss numerous days of precious education simply because of rain. During the tour I realized how important just a bike, that we as Americans take for granted, can be to these impoverished kids. The bike can change a child’s life forever and will mean the difference between success and poverty. After the factory tour, we went outside and began building our very own bikes. We were assigned our own mechanic who helped us through the building and ensured that we did it correctly. We played our own part in building bikes that we ourselves will be presenting tomorrow at a ceremony. It was a nice feeling knowing that I had a direct part in changing a kids life forever. Although today was short, it was still rewarding, and I’m excited to present the bike that I built tomorrow at the ceremony.
So far I have been having a fantastic time in Zambia. Every day is incredibly rewarding and special and I wouldn’t trade the days I’m spending in Zambia for anything. The work is exhausting but there isn’t any feeling better than helping these amazing and talented kids. The compassion and faith they have in each other is incredible and heartwarming, and when I go back home, I will try and bring the same compassion and faith back to America. This trip is teaching me that I can change the life of any of these children in a heartbeat with so little, when before, I never thought it would be so possible . The kids here are so grateful for everything they receive, no matter how small. This trip is teaching me that I need to cherish what I have, while I have it.
Jack B., Sidwell Friends School