wheels4refugees

Help Syrian kids play again. We collect used bikes, refurbish them, donate them to Syrian families, and train them on safe cycling around their new city.

For kids who have fled war, bikes are a healthy way to play for the whole family that treats lingering PTSD, restores independence, and helps big families living on small budgets get around town for free.

Our goal is to place at least 250 bicycles with recently-arrived Syrian children and their parents this summer.

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The wheels4refugees WORKSHOP fixes up donated bicycles for Syrian kids and their parents. Among our volunteer bike mechanics is Aref Hajji, a recent newcomer from Syria whose father was a bicycle repairman. Aref and other volunteers mentor young Syrian newcomers to refurbish donated bikes, helping the young apprentices pick up language and job skills along the way and integrate into the Ottawa community.

wheels4refugees YOUTH MENTORS are Arabic-speaking volunteers who train the Syrian families on how to ride bicycles safely around Ottawa and familiarize them with bike paths and routes to shopping, schools, parks, and places of worship. This helps empower the newcomers to get comfortable with cycling as free, healthy, independent transportation around their new city!

How can you help?

  • Donate bicycles (used or new) of all sizes at the CapitalWelcomes drop-box in the lobby of 350 Sparks St. We also need helmets, bike locks, lights, and bike safety bells. Bring along household items too – kitchenware, small appliances, toiletries, cribs, strollers – our amazing partners at CapitalWelcomes will make sure they reach families who are really needing them!
  • Volunteer – we can use your help! We are looking to grow our amazing team of volunteers. Come help us make a big difference!
    • Drivers – volunteers with cars and bike racks to pick up donations
    • Bike mechanics – repair bikes for kids and families in need
    • Arabic-speakers – willing to help us communicate with Syrian refugees and possibly be trained to mentor families on bicycle maintenance, bike routes, and road safety

Wheels4Refugees is a program of Bioregional.