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My favorite Christmas gift… a bicycle for a girl

Photo: ©2012 George Flattery/World Vision

Photo: ©2012 George Flattery/World Vision

Our “My Favorite Christmas Gift…” series continues as World Vision staff, partners and friends share stories around World Vision’s Gift Catalog.

Today we hear from Christina Bradic, from World Vision’s Advocacy Integration team.

When we talk about Christmas, it is almost impossible not to think of a beautiful tree and family and loved ones gathered around on Christmas morning. For those of us fortunate to spend Christmas with children, nothing compares to seeing their faces light up at the joy of the season and the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Gifts are exchanged and Christmas lists are made and there is that one item that almost every child has had on their list at one time or another- a shiny new bicycle.

A bicycle conjures up images of sunny afternoons, exploring with friends and the ability to get anywhere you want to go (well, almost!). For children in the developing world, bicycles bring the same joy, but they often always bring much, much more.

A girl can be vulnerable in so many ways, ways that jeopardize their health, education, future and freedom. However, a bicycle provides options and protection in surprising ways. Often girls have to start the day by doing chores and gathering water. If there is not enough time to get these things done and go to school, the opportunity for education is lost. With a bicycle she can do her chores in the morning and still get to school, because she can get there faster! She is protected along the way and less vulnerable to violence or trafficking; while on a bicycle, she is not an easy target. With her bike she can take things to the market and make money for her family. With these opportunities she will have the potential to thrive as an adult and she will not have to make difficult choices about her own children- the choices that many mothers make to sell or marry off their children, because they see no other way to be able to support their family.

A this might seem like a lot for something with a kick stand, but the reality is that bicycles can change lives.

Give the gift of a bicycle today and provide safe, speedy transportation for girls.

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