OpenBike aims to empower vulnerable people on Lesvos, both the refugee community and locals, through the benefits of cycling, teaching them to fix their bicycles and helping them gain deeper connections with their environment. Furthermore, it can give them skills to grow their confidence and lead to a better future.
Bicycle usage is uncommon among island inhabitants due to a lack of bicycle friendly infrastructure and underdeveloped bike culture. Camp residents are effectively isolated due to the distance and bad public transport. This distance between the locals and migrant communities only serves to enlarge the gap separating them, prolonging prejudices while keeping migrants from attaining useful skills that would enable them to benefit from and contribute to the general welfare, forming a vicious cycle.
Our goal is for more environmentally friendly, humane and socially responsible modes of urban transportation by putting bikes at the forefront of the collective effort for a green transition while at the same time using activities around bikes as a catalyst for integration and socialization between different social groups. By helping people maintain their bicycles and offering the needed assistance, we open up access to the city and encourage the transfer of knowledge and skills among people.
Expected results are: - An increased presence of bikes in the streets of Mytilene. - Acquiring bike repair and maintenance skills. - Offering free independent bike repair stations and additional assistance for those who need it. - Strengthening relationships between local and migrant communities. - Increased skills building for future employability. - Reduction of health problems connected to a more sedentary lifestyle.