Grace used to arrive at school every day feeling completely exhausted. She is 15, and lives 25 km away from her nearest school in southern Malawi. The round trip to school meant Grace walked more than a marathon every day.
Grace is extremely driven and has her sights set firmly on becoming a nurse. She also has no doubt about the value of educating girls: ‘If you teach a girl,’ she says, ‘you're teaching the whole nation.’
But her long journey to school sapped her energy, and parts of the journey made her feel vulnerable and unsafe.
The threat of Grace dropping out of school – in a country where only 40 per cent of women have any secondary education – was very real. But a simple and very effective solution – bicycles provided by Oxfam – has transformed school life for Grace.
By donating $4 a day, in a year, could provide bikes for two girl to travel to school safely.