Refugees often feel isolated in their accommodation, they have lost their home and also their independence. To get out and explore they generally have to walk. Women often find these challenges particularly difficult. Cycling helps them to feel independent and start to explore their new home. Bikeygees provides free cycle training to women refugees in Berlin, it is funded by donations and staffed by volunteers. The lessons combine both the physical skill of riding a bike with German traffic rules and bicycle maintenance.
Annette Krüger, co-founder of Bikeygees, was interviewed by the Guardian recently. She pointed out that their mission isn’t only to help the refugees. The one million new citizens could become car drivers, it is far better for Germany if they ride bikes. But she seems most proud of the impact she has had on the women themselves, showing a note from one:
“It gave me the feeling of freedom and self-confidence. I mean, it was just such a beautiful experience, being able to be in control and concentrate on just two wheels. I felt like a bird in the sky”