Working Together to Form a Stronger Hub
Bikes for the World recently had the opportunity to donate bikes to Afghan refugees through the Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC). The bikes will help provide transportation to grocery stores, doctors appointments or job interviews.
ECDC is working to ease the resettlement of recent Afghan refugees who are making the transition from military bases to our communities in Northern Virginia. Despite the higher cost of living in this area, many Afghans prefer the area given the strong connections they have through their work with the State Department, military, and diplomats while living in Afghanistan. However, they are often placed further out in the suburbs where services are harder to access without a vehicle. There is no Metro and cars are simply not affordable to new arrivals...in fact some may have never driven a car before or are quite unfamiliar with and uncomfortable on our roads and infrastructure.
Volunteers with ECDC are working to transport our Afghan Allies from the airport, to doctor's appointments, to job interviews, etc. They identified several refugees who could benefit from the use of a bike to help their families with errands and potentially to commute to a job.
Many of our local donations are made through other non profits, specifically bike organizations who are able to make the necessary repairs to ensure the bikes are rideable and safe. Occasionally we are able to utilize our own staff hours or skilled volunteers to return a donated bike to the road and in this case to help make a difference in our community. Through a Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling connection, this request came at an ideal time and we are proud to be able to help.