Businessman Is Donating 10,000 Bikes To Kids Who Walk Miles To School

June 10, 2019

A businessman in Myanmar has bought 10,000 bikes from bike-sharing companies and is donating them to underprivileged children across the country who walk miles to school.

man donates 10 thousand bikes to kids
Mike Than Tun Win / Credit:

Entrepreneur Mike Than Tun Win, founder of and chief executive of BOD Tech Co, created a non-profit organization called LessWalk which is buying up the bikes and making them suitable for students.

"It's a common sight to see lines and lines of students walking long distances from home to school in rural villages," Than told Tech Crunch. "Some students can walk up to one hour from home to school and the families can hardly afford a simple form of transport like bicycle or motorcycle… a school bus is almost unheard of to the students in rural villages."

Than was able to purchase the bikes at $40 per bike, costing a total of $400,000. Half of the money for the project has been funded through donations to LessWalk. Than himself provided the rest.

"Suddenly, there was an opportunity to buy [these bikes] at fraction of price. The benefit it can develop is well beyond that cost," he said.

In a country with more than nine million students, Than plans to work with government organizations to identify potential beneficiaries. The primary focus is students aged 13-16 who walk over a mile to school each day.

"I'm only halfway through the journey. The remaining 50 percent is making sure we have an impact," Than said.

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