By Jessica Roy

The power of wheels

When visiting schools in Cambodia, teachers and parents kept telling us that the rain and consequently muddy roads, kept children home from school because it made the journey sometimes impassable. This is on top of the great distance most children have to travel to get to school. There are no busing systems for schoolchildren in rural Cambodia. There were four of us from the US visiting and we kept thinking about our own experiences commuting to and from school; nothing compared. At the end of the day we met a little girl and we couldn’t help ourselves. We bought her a bike. A pretty bike with a basket on the front and a lock to make sure it remained hers. She spoke no English and had no idea what we were talking about or trying to do but we will never forget the look in her eyes when she realized what was happening and likewise, we’ll never forget watching her ride off down the road on her brand new wheels, knowing that tomorrow and the days after that, that little girl wouldn’t have any trouble commuting to or from school to continue her education.