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14 December 2017

Pedalling out of Poverty

Meet the people our Malawi bicycle project has helped

In a developing country like Malawi, owning a bike is a luxury and often an indicator of success. People with bikes can get around much more easily, and can run small businesses more efficiently. For the poorest people, owning a bike is an un-affordable dream, and to get to school or earn a living they must walk long, exhausting journeys.

By donating to our bike project, you’ve helped give brand new bikes to orphans and the vulnerable in Malawi, empowering them to get to school fresh and ready to learn, or take care of business. 

Fun Fact: Riding a bike can be up to five times more energy efficient than walking.

Bukhali Kaliati

 ‘Fancy’ – That’s ten-year old Bukhali Kaliati’s favourite word, though he rarely gets a chance to use it. When he saw his new bike, it was the first word he thought of.

‘I saw the bike and was like, “Wow…very fancy,”’ he giggles, hiding his face in his best friend Umar’s shoulder. ‘I feel fancy.’

‘I was used to arriving late at school because of the distance,’ he says with his hands prematurely wrinkled and his shoes, though only two months old, torn from walking long distances. ‘I always feel like I'm the poorest one here.’

‘This bike will take me further because I'm an orphan.’

Bukhali wants to go to secondary school, become a teacher and inspire others.

 

Sheikat Rashida

Sheikat Rashida Kaliati never dreamt of having her own bicycle, as they are typically owned by business people in her community. She used to walk close to 13km a day to and from work. Now her life is much easier. 

‘Life was very hard for me. I used to get tired by the time I got home and would not be able to do other household chores,’ she explained.

‘May Allah Ta’ala bless those who donated towards the project abundantly. Most of our students live below the poverty line and have never thought of owning a bicycle let alone dream of riding one.’

 

Shakira Kamwendo

Before nine-year old Shakira Kamwendo received her bicycle, she used to get to school late. By the time she arrived her friends were already in class and practising their english.

She loves school but it’s a two hour walk from her home, making it hard to get in on time. She often wouldn’t get back home until after dark.

According to Shakira’s teacher, the bicycle has had a great impact on her performance in class.

‘I had always known that Shakira has a great potential to make it to the top, however distance was a challenge for her as she always looks tired in class and hence performed poorly,’ she said. ‘All that has changed now.’

Shakira is delighted with the change in her lifestyle because of her new bike.

‘I am able to study now as I get home in good time, I even have a chance to play and help my mother with household chores.’

Thanks to your generosity, these bikes have given a new lease of life to all who have received them. Please continue to support the work of Muslim hands as we strive to improve the lives of those in need.


Muslim Hands UK

Established in 1993, Muslim Hands is an international aid agency and NGO working in over 50 countries worldwide to help those affected by natural disasters, conflict and poverty.

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