The Refugee Bicycle Club aims to connect refugees needing bikes with those who don’t have use for them anymore.
Photograph: The Refugee Bicycle Club
Text: Nikolaos Papadopoulos
The war in Ukraine is undoubtedly a tragedy. People are losing their lives daily, properties are destroyed, and many families have fled their homes. However, the war also brings out the best in people who can not sit idly by while their fellow humans suffer. Such is the case for Nick, Birger, and Laurenz, founders of the Refugee Bicycle Club in Copenhagen. All three have experience working with refugees in the past, and they decided to combine their skills to start this initiative to provide refugees with bikes, a staple of Danish life.
“The war in Ukraine was a huge push for us to start the club,” says Nick. But then, they noticed a massive demand in bike requests on social media and realised there was a need. “Bikes can make a huge difference in your life in a country like Denmark, especially in Copenhagen, where biking is the best way to go around no matter your age”.
“Anyone forced to flee their country can seek them out, and they will do their utmost to help!”
While the club started because of the war in Ukraine, its services are not meant just for Ukrainians. Anyone forced to flee their country can seek them out, and they will do their utmost to help! More importantly, the club is not only a place to get bikes for free, but it also is a social club! They now help people get to work, go to language courses, transport shopping, and keep kids entertained for free! The response of the public has been overwhelmingly positive. Danes and expats donate their old bikes, and the trio has had plenty of encouragement and help from their networks.
However, demand is ever-increasing. The club lacks sponsors, and there is always a need for more funds, spare parts, and word of mouth. Nick ends by saying, “If you want to help, please visit our website or shoot an email to Nick. If you like the idea, just come and join the club!”.
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