Rotary helps Cambodian children pedal safely to school
Japanese delegation to arrive 17 August to help assemble donated bicycles
TOKYO (August 14, 2007) -- For poor children in developing countries like Cambodia, a simple used bicycle may represent the most efficient and safest route to an education.
Schools are scarce in many parts of rural Cambodia, forcing students to walk long distances under harsh conditions. Stifling heat, poisonous snakes, and abandoned landmines are just a few of the hazards the children face.
Fortunately, many of the country’s most at-risk students soon will be able to get to school more quickly and safely thanks to members of the Rotary Club of Shin Fuji, Japan, which plans to provide more than 2,500 used bicycles to Cambodian schoolchildren over the next three years as the latest effort in an ongoing bike parts recycling project, Donating Bicycles to Children in Cambodia, launched in 2005-06.
Satoshi Koyama, president of the of the Shin Fuji Rotary Club, says the idea developed after the club learned of a similar Rotary-supported project in Thailand, which involved Japan’s Jitensha-Chushajo Seibi Center Foundation.
The Rotary club contacted the foundation and worked out an agreement for the Cambodia project, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Phom Penh Metro. Over the past year, nearly 1,500 bicycles have been shipped to schools in Cambodia’s Kandal, Banteay and Meanchey provinces.
A 16-member Rotary delegation will arrive in Cambodia 17 August to assemble 460 bicycles from parts shipped in July. On 21 August, they will present the bikes to children at Sakura School in Sihanoukville.
Koyama says the cost for each shipment of 230 bicycles is about JPY 90,000.The Jitensha-Chushajo Seibi Center Foundation pays to ship the bikes to Cambodia, and the Rotary clubs cover the cost of delivering them to the schoolchildren. Koyama says contributions from other Rotary clubs are welcomed.
Anyone interested in supporting the project should contact the Rotary Club of Shin Fuji for more information.
Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide who provide humanitarian service and help to build goodwill and peace in the world. Rotary is in There are approximately 1.2 million Rotarians who are members of more than 32,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.