Riding Bikes- For Fun, or Survival?

April 20, 2008

Yesterday, we had a fun-filled day enjoying the beautiful weather outside. We rode bikes together most of the afternoon, and into the evening. Some of us were actually outside until after 8pm! Hillary got a new pink princess bike, with a helmet and pads, and I put together Andrew’s bike that he had gotten for Christmas. Andrew loved riding his new bike, and I loved that I did not have to lean over and push him, that is hard especially when pregnant- I love that big handle! Here are some pictures of our day:

Hey, Dad! Why are you riding a pink girl bike?!

 

Later last night, I got to thinking about something that I read in the latest Trivani Foundation Newsletter. Here is the excerpt that I was thinking about:

Due to civil war and AIDS, many women in Northern Uganda have been left to struggle alone as widows and single mothers. In Ugandan culture, widows are left without any legal rights and may be “required” to bear the children of their deceased husband’s brothers without the promise of financial support.

Trivani has decided to lend aid to a group of hardworking, entrepreneurial widows in Kaberamaido. These determined women will use micro-credit loans provided by Trivani to purchase bicycles and small fishing boats. The boats will be rented to local fishermen- the bicycles transport the women and the fish they catch from the river to the market. The bicycles may be be rented out when not in use; the fish will also be used to feed their own families.

Generating income is especially important for these widows, as many cannot support their children and are forced to give them to Asayo’s Orphanage in hopes of their child’s survival. By generating income, widows can keep their children and also become foster parents to children in the orphanage, lessening the burden of Asayo’s Orphanage rather than adding to it.

During Megan McMillan’s recent trip to Uganda, she purchased bicycles for this group of women. The photo below depict Megan with several women and their new bicycles:

So, for many of us, riding bikes with our kids is for fun, but for these Ugandan women, riding bikes is for survival- that thought sure put my day in perspective. I am so grateful for the things that I have, and the time that I am able to spend with my family!

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