Recently I had the great privilege of accompanying Friends for All Children on a trip to the area of Kanjanaburi Province. The absolute highlight of the trip for me was the day that I witnessed six children received brand new bicycles through the FFAC Bike Sponsorship Program. Our first stop was a small school in Baan Dong Krong School.
The three girls who were to receive the bikes came running the minute they saw our vehicle approach the school. They were shy, but their smiles told the story better than any words. Ordinarily all three girls have a very long walk to school but when the new term starts they will all be able to ride their bicycles. As they rode off on their bikes, I couldn’t help but think what a wonderful summer break they are going to have during March through to May. I’m sure those bikes will cover many, many miles.
Our next point of delivery was a very, very remote village in the hills of Baan Bongtee, it is the Karen village area in Kanjanburi. The road into the village was not yet paved and it seemed to go on forever and forever. I used to think my one mile walk to school was long enough but these girls live more than 6 kilometres from their school. We sat in the small bamboo house of one of the girls and they talked about their school and their dreams. When the girls were presented with their bikes, One of the three girls, asked if she could make a speech on behalf of the three girls.
She expressed that they were so grateful for the donation of the bikes and that it would change their lives. Sunisa said that they were often late to school because they had to walk so far, but now that they had the bikes to ride they would be able to arrive at school on time. I was in tears by the end of her little speech. It wasn’t just her words that showed how grateful she was – but her whole face showed her gratitude.
I wish that each of the people who sponsored the donation of the bikes could have been with us at the school and in the village that day. I went away so blessed from seeing what joy the bikes had brought. This is a wonderful program and I’m so grateful to the people at Friends For All Children and all those who give so that new bikes can bless children’s lives.
Report by Jane Arnott
4 March 2009