Bikes help build communities: Sadegh's Story
When refugees approach us at The Bike Project, they do so thinking they will get a bike to simply access more locations and to save on public transport. But often, the true impact a bike will have on their lives goes so much beyond that.
Sadegh, one of the individuals we have supported, approached us for a bike. When asked what life was like before connecting with The Bike Project, he said,
“I was alone all the time. I used to play football at home and since I came to the UK, I wasn’t able to do any physical activities. My family isn’t here and I always felt the need to see my family.”
Sadegh is thrilled by how owning a bike has changed his life.
“I could attend Church regularly to pray and go to services, which I couldn’t afford to do before. Now, I am able to see my friends. I’ve found a new family, they are my new family. With the help of my bike, I was able to fill the gap left by not having my family here.”
Through cycling, many of the people we support benefit in immense ways. Sadegh expressed his excitement at how he was able to make a community around cycling among his friends.
“I was always part of a football team, but I haven’t been able to join one here. When my friends saw that I became a cyclist, they all were very proud of me and wanted to become cyclists themselves. I introduced them all to The Bike Project, and they all have bikes now. We even have cycling competitions and we race each other for fun."
But here at The Bike Project, we offer more than just a bike. Many cyclists, like Sadegh, who do not have the permission to work, have joined us as volunteers to give back in the only way they know how – by refurbishing and servicing the bikes of others just like them. In our workshops they are able to learn the necessary skills and training to be able to fix up the bikes, and they wheel on!
“Cycling is very important because it is better for the environment, so I feel like I am helping all human beings in the world, not just myself.”
If you're interested in supporting refugees by volunteering or even fundraising, visit our support page to learn more about how to get involved with our organisation.
Written on: 12 Feb 2021 | Author: Muna Hussen