The staff of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Mobility & Transport (DG MOVE) organised a bike collection to support the #BikesForUkraine campaign.
Initiated by 6 Ukrainian NGOs, #BikesforUkraine collects bicycles to help Ukrainian volunteers and community services.
Bikes have become the main way of getting around the Ukrainian cities most damaged by Russian military aggression – Kharkiv, Chernihiv and Sumy, among others. These cities are struggling with interrupted or non-operational public transport and a lack of fuel.
Bicycles are often the only option for delivering humanitarian aid and moving personnel working in critical services.
With thanks to generous supporters, in just six weeks, we collected around 450 bikes and many helmets, locks and other gear. We also received about €8700 in financial donations.
Some volunteers spent lunch breaks – and sometimes their weekends – repairing and cleaning the bikes.
We loaded the bikes onto two lorries that safely arrived in Kyiv on 29 November 2022 and 15 December 2022 respectively, with thanks to our partners DFDS and Procter & Gamble.
Since then, the NGOs behind the #BikesforUkraine initiative have started to dispatch the bikes to the organisations and people in need who have requested them – see some examples below:
- 50 bikes went to an orphanage in Zhytomyr, and to family social workers;
- 30 bikes for local volunteers distributing humanitarian aid in Mykolaiv;
- 37 bikes are used to reach essential services in the Kherson and Dnipro regions;
- 30 bikes are used by volunteers and hospital workers in Kharkiv;
- 17 bikes are bringing some happiness to children and teenagers from the Kyiv region who lived under occupation;
- 20 bikes support the mobility of municipality workers in Kherson;
- 20 bikes support families and social workers in Petrivska hromada (Kyiv region);
- 5 bikes are increasing the mobility of volunteers in Irpin;
- 10 former Brussels police bikes are now used by the bike police of Chernihiv.
Of the €8700 in financial donations that we received, we used a small share to purchase spare parts, and a larger share for the logistics costs, in particular the distribution of the bikes within Ukraine. We were also able to help the NGOs launch a tender for the procurement of bicycles and components that will support local Ukrainian businesses.
We are in close contact with the NGOs, and will keep supporting their cause where possible.