Open Bike aims to introduce both refugees and locals to the benefits of cycling and through that help them gain deeper connections with the environment and between each other. We have created a bike workshop at OpenSpace and one inside the camp where people can repair their bikes themselves as well as recycle and upgrade them using the equipment and parts we provide for them.
Since the beginning of May 2022, we have provided two bicycle repair stations available to all. One repair station is in the Camp (CCAC) of Lesvos with over 2000 residents and the other is in our community hub called OpenSpace.
There is little to no access to learn bicycle mechanics and proper use of bicycles for many of those residing on Lesvos. We address this by offering free assistance to fix bikes and access the right tools as well as by providing workshops to learn bicycle mechanics and bicycle riding lessons. By improving their mechanical skills, we hope they can use those skills to get a job.
At its core, OpenBike focuses on recycling and/or upgrading all bicycles by using old refurbished parts which also raises environmental awareness that helps reduce waste.
So far we have managed to fix over 1000 bicycles in the camp, with the help of community volunteers, of which 90% of them were not safe for the road. We've also held a series of bike mechanic courses, with the contribution of Bodossaki Foundation and SolidarityNow, as part of the Active Citizens Fund's Bilateral Initiatives. Our long-term hope is to build a permanent workshop in OpenSpace where everyone is welcome to come and use the facilities and space.