We have a dilemma at Human and Hope. Last year, four of our students’ bicycles were stolen from outside our school while they were in class. Their parents, unable to afford new bicycles for the students, complained to Venerable Hen and asked what we are going to do to prevent this from happening to other students’ bicycles. For months, literally, months, we have been going back and forth with sustainable ways to protect our students bicycles.
One big, long chain
Teacher Thai suggested we buy one big, long chain to tie all the students’ bicycles together. This wouldn’t work as the chain would get rusty, plus the students all arrive at different times throughout the day, so it would make it difficult to control.
Hire a security guard
Teacher Chhalin suggested we hire a security guard who watches over the bikes, and gives the students a ticket each day for them to use to keep their bikes safe. The idea was that the students would pay 25 cents a month to keep their bicycles under the watch of a security guard, and this would pay for his salary. However, after Venerable Hen monitored the bicycle usage for a couple of weeks, it was determined we wouldn’t be able to raise enough consistent income to pay a security guard.
Provide bicycle locks through a mini-microfinance scheme
Bicycle locks cost $1, and can ensure a students bicycle is kept safe not only at Human and Hope, but around the village, too. Sally’s idea was to provide each student with a lock, and they pay us back 25 cents a month for four months. The drawback of this is that the locks will get rusty in rainy season, plus we don’t have anything stable to lock the bikes to, so they could still be picked up and taken away.
Now we are out of ideas, however the issue isn’t going away. We need suggestions on how to tackle this issue. Can anyone out there help? If so, please contact us.