Non-formal Education - Bicycles


More than 50 percent of the world’s population knows how to ride a bike, and it’s estimated that there are more than two billion bikes in use around the world; a number expected to increase 150 percent in the next few decades.

At this precise moment, all around the world, millions of people are riding bicycles. They’re riding in cities and riding in rural areas. They’re riding in good weather, and they’re riding in bad weather. They’re running errands, commuting, riding with friends, or simply enjoying being outside.

All around the world, near and far, separated by oceans and continents, but joined together by two wheels, bike riders are experiencing the utility and freedom their machines offer.

First observed in 2018, World Bicycle Day is a United Nations (UN) international day celebrating and promoting bicycle use around the world. It is held annually on June 3.

The Turkmenistan Permanent Mission to the United Nations introduced the draft resolution for World Bicycle Day to the 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly. The resolution, co-sponsored by 56 countries, was signed by all 193 member states of the UN and encourages governments around the world to:

  • include the bicycle in development strategies, policies and programs
  • improve road safety, planning and design
  • promote pedestrian safety and cycling mobility
  • advance bicycle use as a means of strengthening education for children and young people and promoting health and disease prevention
  • develop a culture of cycling in society
A young girl riding a pink/red bicycle
A young man with a bicycle loaded up with items he needs to transport


A bicycle is an affordable, reliable and sustainable method of transportation. It is the sole mechanical source of mobility for hundreds of millions of people. But a bicycle is more than just a means of transportation and mobility. It’s also a source for social, economic and environmental change.

Bicycles open up the world. They bring education, health care and employment into peoples’ lives by making schools, doctors, food and jobs accessible. Cycling to gain fitness offers health benefits and fosters friendships, and riding a bike has a positive impact on climate and the environment.

The bicycle has served humanity for more than 200 years, and several hundred million people around the world will ride a bicycle this year. The bicycle can be a key component of transformational life change for people, particularly people living in low- and middle-income countries.

"Quantitative evidence demonstrates that a quality bicycle, coupled with holistic programming, creates catalytic, sustainable and empowering change." — Dave Neiswander, World Bicycle Relief CEO
A group of children riding bikes together
A road in Burkina Faso with several people riding bikes


In many low- and middle-income countries, children must walk for miles to get to school, which can be quite unsafe for children walking alone — especially girls. By providing a bicycle, you reduce this vulnerability.

For a child who relies on public transportation, which is often undependable and can also be dangerous, a bicycle is a safer, more efficient way to get to school.

A child who receives a bicycle can travel to and from school in substantially less time. This means they have more time to study, are less tired and can be more productive overall. It also means attendance rates and academic performance improve.

According to World Bicycle Relief, a child with a bicycle can reduce his or her school commute time by up to 75 percent.

The gift of a bicycle to a child in need will also promote the importance of exercise and create a fun, bonding experience for the child and his or her friends. It can contribute to a child’s physical and emotional development and help develop a child’s independence by enabling children to travel without the help of older siblings, parents or grandparents.

"Before I got a bike, I went to church by foot. I used to walk to the market by foot. This made it impossible to do things quickly. Now I can do many things fast as traveling from one place to the other is quite easy and exciting to do." — 11-year-old Wedawanam, a Compassion-assisted child.
A young boy riding a bicycle
Several children riding bikes

Celebrate World Bicycle Day by giving a bicycle to a child in poverty.

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