Today’s Solutions: May 24, 2022

Following the outbreak of war in western Sudan, Darfuri refugee Adam fled to the UK in search of a better life. Not long after his arrival in 2009, he struck up a friendship with Jem Stein, a student, and mentor, who found out that one of the biggest challenges Adam was facing at the time was transportation.

Placed in accommodation on the outskirts of London and unable by law to work, Adam had limited access to essential services. Looking to help him out, Stein found him a bike, starting what would become The Bike Project. Officially launched in 2013, the project has one mission: collect old bikes, refurbish them, and pair them with refugees who need them.

As reported by FT, the UK receives more than 30,000 asylum applications each year and roughly the same number of bikes are abandoned over 12 months in London.

In order to scale the initiative, Stein set up a trading arm — for every batch of bikes collected from the charity’s network of collection points, one-third are kept aside to be refurbished and sold, with all the proceeds then fed back into The Bike Project. “It’s allowed us to grow to a point where we employ 28 staff,” adds Stein.

In addition to tackling the mobility issue, the initiative targets another challenge often facing migrants and refugees — loneliness. According to a 2017 report by the Jo Cox Commission, almost 60 percent of migrants and refugees in London report feeling isolated as their biggest challenge — a struggle only made worse by lack of transportation.

“I can attend church regularly, which I couldn’t afford to do before,” Sadegh, a recent beneficiary, tells FT. “With the help of my bike, I’m able to fill the gap left by not having my family around.”

Over the last eight years, The Bike Project has paired more than 6,500 refugees and asylum seekers in the UK with bikes. It currently has workshops in south London, Birmingham, and Wimbledon.

To learn more about the empowering role that bicycles can play in people’s lives, check out these organizations also working to provide refugees with mobility and independence through cycling.

Image source: The Bike Project

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

How the Belize Barrier Reef is coming back to life

When Hurricane Iris hit Belize in 2001, it ravaged almost all of the country’s coral reefs. The devastation signaled bad news not only for the surrounding marine life but also for the local communities who ... Read More

Redwoods grow new leaves to adapt to drought

We’re doing a lot to adapt to climate change, from creating tree cities and sponge cities to speeding up the schedule for renewable energy. As it turns out, though, humans aren’t the only ones getting ... Read More

OnePower: bringing minigrids and power to Lesotho

A key aspect of helping the developing world is not only ensuring that they have sufficient power and infrastructure to run key facilities like schools and hospitals. It is also important to ensure that their ... Read More

Active UK professional footballer comes out as gay—the first in 30 years

Earlier this month, 17-year-old Jake Daniels, a forward for Blackpool FC in England’s second tier, came out publicly as gay in a statement released by the club. According to the British LGBTQ advocacy group Stonewall, ... Read More

Flow batteries could help with renewable energy storage

The generation of renewable energy from sources like wind and solar is one thing, but there are many other factors to consider when delivering renewable energy to consumers. A big one is the issue of ... Read More

Don’t let ADHD prevent you from meditating. Here are 8 tips for mindful...

We’ve written quite often about the benefits of mindfulness and meditation, but we also recognize that it is sometimes a difficult practice to get into. Meditation is an active process that trains the brain to ... Read More