Riding for Girls #Taiwan
We are delighted to announce Riding for Girls #Taiwan, a 4-day bike ride along the Northeast coast of Taiwan, spearheaded and organized by 15 year old April Cheng in tandem with Lotus Outreach Taiwan. The ride is dedicated to the young women and girls that are beneficiaries of LO programs who, like April, are beacons of change in their communities.
April has been moved by the stories of the young women and girls whom LO helps since she was young. Her mother, Stella Yo, has been the head of LO Taiwan since 2012 and told us that every year April assists her in sending thank you letters to donors. April has always wanted to do something for LO and so when she heard that a group of people led a bike ride in Taiwan as a part of the 1000 Bikes Campaign in 2019, she thought she could do the same to help raise funds for the girls her age so that they too could receive an education.
On July 20th – 23rd, April and eight of her friends from BeiZheng High School, Anna, Jack, Howard, Ray, Anson, Momo, Costanza and Caterina are biking with their high school science teacher, Andy Tsai, from Waiao Beach to Baisha and into Taipei City, where they will complete the ride at their highschool.
See the details of their route below:
Day I – Waiao Beach to Fulong Beach
Day II – Fulong Beach to Keelung Night Market
Day III – Keelung Night Market to Baisha
Day IV – Baisha to Taipei City (BeiZheng High School)
April, her teacher, and friends will complete their 3 night and four day ride along their route known for its scenic white sandy beaches. Unfortunately April told us there is also a lot of trash along these beaches. So, every day of the ride their group will do a beach clean-up as they ride for girls and raise awareness about the importance of girls education.
We’re grateful that friends of LO, Harry Einhorn and Anja Lang, sat down with April to ask her about her inspiration for the ride. It was the last day of school before her and her friends’ graduation from 9th grade. April talked about the route, access to education for girls, and why she wanted to help Lotus Outreach.
*All funds raised in connection with the event are for Lotus Outreach programs that empower women and children living in poverty in India and Cambodia.
When is the ride?
Who is riding with you?
Anna, Jack, Costanza, Caterina, Howard, Ray, Anson, Momo and Andy (teacher).
How did you choose the route?
I heard there is a lot of garbage there — no one is cleaning it. We wanted to clean it along the way.
How did the bike ride come about?
My mother had told me about this event — a few foreigners rode last year for Lotus Outreach to raise money and awareness last year, and so I thought I could do the same thing. I asked my teacher whether he wanted to go biking with me around Taiwan. After they discussed, we decided to go for North Taiwan. Then I decided to ask my classmates that maybe they could join with me. They agreed. They think that this event is very meaningful and they are willing to help the girls too.
What’s your inspiration?
The thing that shocked me that there are still so many girls who are having a really bad situation. They get stuck in trafficking situations because they don’t have so much money. I hope I could change that, because I have such a fortunate life. I hope to have the ability to help them. So I would like to do the best I could.
What inspired you about Lotus Outreach?
Their purpose is not just to earn money. They want to help others. I saw pictures of the water project— it’s very inspiring. I like the feeling of helping others— not just wasting my parent’s money. I want to do good.
What do you hope the impact will be?
We hope that donating money will help the girls, and that the Taiwanese can see there are people with not a great situation. Not just them, but all the girls, to raise awareness.
Our education doesn’t teach about what’s happening in the rest of the world.
Why are you organizing this event?
I want to help.
1,000 Bikes invites LO community members to host bike rides or related events to support LO programs and spread awareness about the importance of girls’ access to education. This is the second year in a row that LO Taiwan is partnering with LO Hong Kong and Lotus Outreach International to host LO ambassadors who will bike the island of Taiwan, as a part of our international 1,000 Bike Campaign. Its inception was inspired by Lotus Pedals, an LO program that ensures access to education for girls living in poverty in India and Cambodia by giving them a bike.
At LO, we provide access to education to empower communities to help break the cycle of poverty. A $75 gift can supply a girl with a bike, a pump, a lock, tools and require her parents commit to her education for two years, a $1,500 gift ensures one year of university scholarship and mentoring, or $6,000 supports a girl for four years of university including mentoring and the support she needs from our LO Cambodia team.
When we asked April’s teacher why he’s joining and what he thought this experience would teach his students, he said, “I’m joining so everybody has access to education.
Access to education is the way to enable social classes to move and to improve their situation.”
He continued, “It is through this experience [with Lotus Outreach] that I learned how much time it takes a student in many Southeast Asian countries to go to school every day. From the interaction with Lotus Outreach, my students also learned that going to school for those students is not as easy as hopping on-and-off the bus like students in Taiwan normally do. Students in Southeast Asian countries have to overcome many difficulties in order to go to school. Therefore, I think this event is very meaningful.”