To reduce cases of early pregnancies among the school-going girls who are lured into sex by Boda boda operators in Busia through free rides to and from school, the Grow Against Poverty Kenya (GAP-K) donated 50 bicycles to day scholars at Our Lady of Mercy Girls secondary school.
According to Ms Hellen Mukanda the director of the non-governmental organization based in Busia County, in many cases, girls especially day schools find it difficult to get to schools due to early pregnancies caused by Boda Boda operators who take advantage of them.
Addressing the parents at Our Lady of Mercy girls’ secondary school in Busia town Ms Mukanda stated that with bicycles, the beneficiaries will not only get to school on time but will also evade the traps from those who want to capitalize on their situation.
“Most of these girls find themselves in trouble when asking for favours from the Boda boda operators and in return, they ask for sexual favours as a way of thanking the Boda boda which in return contributes to early pregnancies forcing them to drop out of school. But through this project the girls will ride to and from school by themselves, preventing early pregnancies which in most cases the Boda boda operators are accused of being behind them,” she stated
So far Ms Mukanda says that more than 5,000 students across the county have benefitted from the project easing their movement.
She is appealing to the students coming from the same place to be offering each other rides when going to and leaving school
“We have distributed 350 Buffalo branded bicycles in seven secondary schools across the county benefitting more than 5,000 students as a way of easing their movement to and from the schools. We are always encouraging those we have given the bikes to offer rides to others who need favours from them,” she noted
The school principal Ms Esther Wanyama welcomed the donation adding that it will ease the movements for the girls, especially in the morning hours considering that the majority of the learners walk for a long distance to school.
“Imagine a student trekking for more than 6 kilometres to school and when you get to school or at home you are already too tired to concentrate on your studies or your homework. But if a student rides 6 kilometres away it will take her the shortest time to get to school and at home with ease which will also enable them to perform well in their academics,” she noted
Her sentiments were echoed by Mr Praxidis Okima the Parents Teachers Association chairperson adding that bicycles will ease the movement of the learners which will reflect in their studies.
Mirriam Inyori, a form two student at Our Lady of Mercy girls’ secondary school could not hide her joy as she received the bicycle saying how she has been walking for 8 kilometres daily to and from the school, and with the bicycle, she is sure of getting to school.
“I have been walking for 8 kilometres daily to and from school. You arrive at your destination very tired, unable to concentrate in class and if it is at home you are too tired to do your homework and other chores at home and eventually it affects your performance,” she said