Where a Bicycle Makes a World of Difference

Humanitarian Services for Children in Vietnam (HCSV) asks, “How did owning a bicycle impact your childhood?” In a guest post from HSCV this week, we’re focusing on bicycles and how owning one can make the difference to a poor family in Vietnam. You’d be surprised at some of the chores that can be done with aid of a saddle and two wheels! A contribution of $70 will buy a bicycle and change the lives of children walking miles to school in rural Vietnam. Stop by our page to find out more and remember that any contribution made in the next two weeks will automatically be doubled up to $2500. Help us change lives and create smiles!

Mai and Son Need a bike copy2

Remember when you were younger and owning a bicycle was so important? Sure, walking was possible but what about the things you could do on two wheels?

You could ride further on a bicycle, and go faster.  You could race your friends, outrun your friends, or transport your friends. You could deck your bicycle out in fancy colors; attach stunt pegs, beads, or a basket. For many of us, the bicycle helped define our childhood.

As a part of our OneVietnam Matching Challenge, we’re highlighting the importance of the bicycle in rural Vietnam.  For many, the bicycle is more than a toy; it’s an essential tool.

And what an important tool!

Think of any job that requires you transport anything, anywhere. It might be a mattress, the groceries, a bag of clothes, or your children. Whatever it is can be easily placed in the back of your car (secure behind a seatbelt in the case of your children!).

For the Nguyen family living in Ba Vi, these chores and more are performed on the back of their trusty bicycle. They’re able to bring heavy sacks of vegetables home from the markets and transport their crop of rice to be sold. Even unlikely items such as furniture can be strapped to the bicycle and walked along the side of the road.

Most importantly, sons Tai and Vinh are able to ride to school, one peddling furiously, and the other balancing delicately on the handlebars. For children living in rural areas of Vietnam, this is a huge advantage. Young students may be required to walk hours just to reach the nearest school. Considering that they may also be malnourished, this is a huge drain of energy before they have even stepped foot inside the classroom. Having to make this kind of journey every morning further stacks the odds against children staying in school while, as we all know, a bicycle can cut a two hour walking into a half hour ride.

Simply put, a bicycle makes all of the difference.

It is no surprise that we incorporate bicycles into our HSCV programs. Our mission is to offer children a chance at a better future and we’d like to equip them well for the journey. By contributing a bicycle to a family you are helping us make a better future possible and you’re creating smiles today. Our bicycles are solid, reliable, and last forever. This gift will continue to give for years to come.

We have a long waiting list of families who would benefit from a bicycle, including the Nguyen family. Their daughter Mai is in Grade 6, and a math whiz. Her brother Hong Son has a heart condition. A bicycle would make it easier for her to get to school, and easier to transport Hong Son to the hospital.

A bicycle contribution costs $70. Thanks to our OneVietnam Matching Grant Challenge, a contribution made for $70 would automatically be doubled. The math is simple! One contribution equals two bicycles and two sets of families enjoying the benefits. Now is the time to make the difference for these families and give the gift a bicycle. Please drop by our page at www.onevietnam.org/HSCV today and help us create better lives and more smiles!

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