SECONDARY school girls who walk long distances to and from school in Mkuranga district, Coast region have a reason to smile after an NGO donated 100 bicycles.
The donation by the organization, Forum for Balanced and Sustainable Development is seen as an important support to the girls who face a number of risks from unfaithful motorists.
The donation worth 4.8 m/- aimed at benefiting female students from five secondary schools of Shungubweni Kisiju, Mwarusembe, Dundani and Tengelea.
Girls who walk for long distances to and from their schools are sometimes forced to ask for a ride from motorists, some of whom are not faithful, a practice that causes problems to the female students, including early pregnancies.
Forum for Balanced and Sustainable Development, which is a partner to the German based organization-Hassen International- donated the bicycles as part of their efforts to help girls in the district access education without impediments.
The donation was handed over to Mkuranga District Executive Director, Engineer Ali Mshamu who will allocate them to the schools ready for distribution to the female students facing the challenge of walking for long distance.
Reports show Mkuranga as one of the districts in the country that are waging a spirited battle against truancy and school dropout, problems that are caused by long distance that students walk to and from their schools.
On their way to and from school, students, including girls, are forced to seek lift from motorists, meeting crooked drivers who lure them into illegal acts.
Forum for Balanced and Sustainable Development Executive Director Chake Bakari said his organisation offered the donation to support the government in its efforts to ensure girls get access to education. He asked other individuals and entities to come forward to support the government resolve.