Girl Up Celebrates #GivingTuesday with Annual SchoolCycle Initiative

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Holiday giving initiative will help transform the lives of adolescent girls in Guatemala

“#GivingTuesday can be the day to change a girl’s life in Guatemala,” said Melissa Hillebrenner Kilby, Director of Girl Up.

To celebrate #GivingTuesday, Girl Up, the United Nations Foundation’s campaign to empower adolescent girls around the world, invites supporters to donate to the SchoolCycle initiative to help provide bicycles to girls in Guatemala through United Nations programs so they can travel safely to and from school.

Through this holiday giving initiative, Girl Up aims to raise $125,000 by December 31 to give bikes to indigenous girls in Guatemala to ease the long and dangerous commutes they face just to get to school. A gift of $125 provides a girl in Guatemala a bike so she can travel to get the education she needs to create a better future – for herself, her family, and her community.

Adolescent girls in Guatemala face unique challenges that prevent them from reaching their full potential. The country has high rates of early marriage and child labor, which can force girls out of school and exclude them from opportunities to become empowered and engaged members of their communities. By age 15, six out of 10 indigenous girls are out of school and almost half of Guatemalan girls have a child before the age of 20. Girls often drop out of school due to long commutes through dangerous areas to get to the closest secondary school. Girls frequently travel in groups for fear of harassment or even violent attacks along their route. A solution to this can be as simple as providing a girl with a bike so she can travel to and from school quickly and safely. With an education, these girls are more likely to reinvest into their communities to help stop the cycle of poverty.

“#GivingTuesday can be the day to change a girl’s life in Guatemala,” said Melissa Hillebrenner Kilby, Director of Girl Up. “This month, as we celebrate giving back and helping others, Girl Up is asking for your support for SchoolCycle as a way to help girls in Guatemala complete school and build brighter futures for themselves and their communities.”

SchoolCycle was launched on #GivingTuesday last year, and through our UN partners the campaign provided 550 bikes to support girls in Malawi. For more information or to donate to SchoolCycle, please visit

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Alexandra Schauffler