She's already going places. With a bike, you're helping her go further.

Through the SchoolCycle program, Girl Up aims to help eliminate one of the biggest obstacles keeping girls out of school: distance. With a bike, she can obtain the education she needs to create a better future.

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What is SchoolCycle?

Launched in 2014, SchoolCycle is a campaign to provide bicycles to girls to help them access education and stay in school. Through the SchoolCycle campaign, Girl Up aims to help eliminate one of the biggest obstacles keeping girls out of school: distance. A bike can help a girl travel quickly and safely to and from school, and gives her the independence to travel freely around her community. That way, she can obtain the education she needs to create a better future for herself, her family and her community.

Together with our partner UNFPA, Girl Up has provided 1,550 bicycles to girls in Malawi and 250 bicycles to girls in Guatemala – and we’re just getting started. Help Girl Up continue to provide a brighter future to more girls the gift of a bike.

How does SchoolCycle work?

A $125 donation provides a bike, spare parts and maintenance training to girls in greatest need identified by our UN partners. Girl Up collects monetary donations from our supporters to send to the UN officials who procure and distribute the bikes.

Why bicycles?

A bike is the vehicle that can transform a girl’s life, so she can get the education she needs to create a better future. It can also serve as an incentive for those girls who have already left school due to pregnancy, work, or expense, to return to complete their education. In Guatemala, indigenous girls often live many miles from the closest secondary school, which forces them to walk long distances along dangerous terrain, often putting them at risk of experiencing violence or harassment during their commute. Six out of 10 indigenous adolescent girls in Guatemala leave school before age 15, oftentimes because their commute is too long and too dangerous. 

In Malawi, less than a quarter of girls finish primary school and only 9% graduate from secondary school. Poverty is one of the main factors preventing girls from staying in school, especially at the secondary level where public school costs money to attend. But another prevalent challenge is the long commute to school which can exceed 10 miles in each direction.

Meet Diana, a girl on the move

Diana, 12, is determined to stay in school and become a school teacher. Most of her friends did not continue beyond sixth grade because the middle school is far away, transportation and fees are expensive, and traveling alone every day is risky.

But Diana holds the key to continuing her education: a bike.


Learn More About Our Impact

When UN Foundation Press Fellows Zoe Fox and Lauren Bohn traveled to Malawi in 2013, they quickly realized that the girls they met needed bicycles.  The Mdinde Community Day Secondary School they visited was the only secondary school in a 37 mile radius. The girl students would often sleep on the floor of the school rather than make the exhausting journey home at the end of the day. Zoe and Lauren’s background in journalism helped to spread the stories of these girls which in turn led to their collaboration with Girl Up. While the SchoolCycle story started in Malawi, it continued to Guatemala. Learn more.