Getting around in Ghana is an arduous task. This is particularly true in our area where the clay roads become dusty during the dry season and turn to mud during the wet one. Without a bicycle, it would take some of our students almost two hours to get to School; the closest live at least half an hour away.
For this reason, once students have demonstrated that they are committed to the Bridge Program—through excellent attendance and a positive attitude during the first month of the academic year—we give each of them their own bicycle to use for the entire school year.
Bicycles are a coveted possession here. In 2010, Trinity Yard School hosted a village bicycle project to help local residents travel around their communities in an environmentally friendly, cost-effective way. That project, initiated by Emma Lipshultz, was the kickstarter for a permanent bicycle ownership program for Trinity Yard’s Bridge Program students.
Every year we host a skilled mechanic at the Yard to conduct a bike workshop for our students. Students learn how to take care of their new bicycles and repair them properly. More fundamentally, the workshop stresses the importance of responsibility and maturity in regard to bicycle ownership. Over the year, students help repair their bicycles in a school bike shop that was constructed by the Jackson Hole student group. Except for a couple of tumbles during the first few weeks of biking to school each year, the student bicycle program has been a big success.