Bikes for Refugees

September 04, 2014 at 10:31 AM

A Second life for a bike.
Each year our boys in Year 7 undertake a Social Science inquiry about refugees. They learn a great deal about the plight of these people as they flee their homelands in search of a better life. They learn that refugees are ‘ordinary people facing extra-ordinary circumstances.’ They may have experienced war, persecution, discrimination, racism or oppression and been forced to flee their homeland for nothing more than their ethnicity, religion or beliefs.

The Mangere Refugee Centre in Auckland resettles up to 750 refugees each year. Many arrive in New Zealand with few or even no possessions. They do, however, bring great strength, resilience and many skills to contribute to their new communities. The Centre helps them to overcome the challenges of settling into a new country by helping them set personal goals and work towards making a contribution to their new home in Aotearoa.

The boys learnt of an initiative to give a second life to old bikes. A bicycle can make a huge difference for a refugee family giving a source of transport, independence and fun for both adults and children. Supported by Auckland Transport, old bikes are being collected by the humanitarian agency RASNZ (Refugees as Survivors NZ) to service and donate to families at the Mangere Centre. The recipients are given cycle lessons focusing on bike safety, including how to use hand signals and the importance of always wearing a helmet.

During Term 3, the School Council sent a request to Saint Kentigern families to donate old bikes no longer in use. This week our boys were proud to deliver over 40 bicycles of all shapes and sizes to the Mangere Refugee Centre knowing that our donation could make a difference for 40 refugee families.


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