Bike For Future encourages young Rwandan women in sport training
NGO Plan International Belgium is launching the Bike For Future project in Rwanda, where the 2025 World Cycling Championships will take place. The organisation aims to use sport to fundamentally change the lives of young women in the country.
Major sporting events have not always brought positive or lasting change for young people in the places where they take place. Plan International Belgium wants to use this project to connect with the local population of Rwanda and to focus on a sustainable effect for young women. The project will give them the opportunity to follow sports training and access bikes.
“Sport offers opportunities to break through gender stereotypes,” says Ineke Adriaens, director of international programmes at Plan International Belgium. “It is often seen as something masculine when it shouldn't be. Girls are often forced to limit themselves to domestic activities, missing out on many aspects of social life. When they can participate in sports activities, supported by Plan International Belgium, this can be a first step in breaking through those gender norms and promoting gender equality.”
Another reason Plan International Belgium is striving to make a change in Rwanda is because of the frequency of gender-based violence. Half of all girls under the age of 24 has been the victim of physical or sexual violence.
© SIMON WOHLFAHRT / AFP