The Cause

The daily/weekly home to school commute for the children living in the scattered villages of the Surianu Mountains has become a serious issue since the economic downturn. They have to travel anything between 10 and 25 km (6-15 miles) to take advantage of their fundamental right to education.

Since the Local Council funds provided for hiring a driver and a minibus have dried out, the only alternative to walking the great distances daily, is cycling. Providing mountain bikes for the 27 young pupils will not be just a logical practical solution but also an environmentally friendly and sustainable one.

For the local families living in these remote areas, the monthly income is around 200 euros (£170). The father is often the only member of the family that earns a salary (by working occasionally in the nearby town). The households are however, self-sufficient, living off the land and therefore enjoying probably some of the healthiest and nutritious organic food in Europe. Unfortunately the low income also limits the purchasing power of the locals to the basic essentials of the household and naturally, items such as bicycles are outside their means.

The “Iosif Pervain” Secondary School of Cugir supports the RideAcross project:
“The children come from afar, especially seven of them from Feteni who walk to school all the way daily. It takes them 2 hours each way, 4 hours roundtrip. Two of them have bikes so cycling to school is not unheard of.” says the Principal, Rodica Mihai. The other 20 pupils aged between 9 and 20 come from even further afar, from places such as Goasele, Bocsitura, Calene, Mugesti and Bucuru.

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