Bikes could help refugees get started in the right direction

For refugees who came to London with nothing, a bike can get them going.

The Bike Project fixes old bikes and gives them to refugees.

The project has been around for four years and can now give about 90 bikes a month to people who need them.

SEE MORE: Sewing Classes Are Giving Refugees Independence In Canada

Refugees starting out might have a hard time finding a job. And those who have a job might make a low wage because education and experience don't always transfer from country to country. That can make public transportation a big expense in a city like London.

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Making a living in a refugee camp
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Making a living in a refugee camp
Rashed Al Mashhadani, 44, an Iraqi displaced from al-Zammar district, who fled the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul with his family of 15, shaves a customer at Sewdinan 3 camp, east of Mosul, Iraq, January 24, 2017. Rashed, who has been working as a barber for 24 years, says he feels safe inside the camp despite the financial hardship. He complains about the lack of freedom; most refugees cannot leave the camp and re-enter freely because of security concerns. Here, he earns between 2,000 and 3,000 dinars a day ($2 to $2.5). REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed SEARCH "MOSUL VENDORS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY.
Ayser Issa Musa, 21, an Iraqi displaced from the village of Khorsibad, who fled the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul with his family, poses for a photograph as he waits for customers at Khazer camp east of Mosul, Iraq, February 6, 2017. Aysar has turned his hand to fixing shoes to support his family of eight. "My brothers and I are working in the camp to survive" he said. "We receive little more than 5,000 Iraqi Dinars ($4.28) a day, but we have no other choice since we cannot return to our village." He and his family fled after fighting destroyed their village, Khorsibad, north of Mosul. Like many others in the camp, they arrived with little cash and few possessions. They have had to fend for themselves. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
Kamal Nofal, an Iraqi displaced from village of Khazer, who fled the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul with his family, poses for a photograph as he sells seeds, sweets and some other items in front of his family tent at Khazer camp east of Mosul, Iraq, February 6, 2017. "I was a taxi driver before 2014 and everything was ok but Islamic State fighters shooed us out of the village to Mosul and confiscated our property." He has been living in the camp for four months and earns between 7,000 and 8,000 dinars a day ($6 to $7). REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed SEARCH "MOSUL VENDORS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Ahmed Ali Abdullah, 31, an Iraqi displaced from Mosul's al-Shaimaa district, who fled the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul with his family, poses for a photograph at the shaving shop where he works in the Khazer camp east of Mosul, Iraq, February 8, 2017. "After Islamic State took control of Mosul in 2014, the situation became very bad and work became futile because people were prevented from shaving their beards and having haircuts... so most customers just shaved at homes out of fear of the Islamic State. I closed my shop and looked for work in the market," Abdullah said. In the camp, he earns 10,000 dinars a day ($8.5) "There is no water, no reliable electricity or cold weather, but it is more secure and stable than Mosul". REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed SEARCH "MOSUL VENDORS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Ahmed Mohamed Yassin, an Iraqi displaced from Aden district, who fled the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul with his family, poses for a photograph next to his cigarette stand as he waits for potential customers at Khazer camp east of Mosul, Iraq, February 6, 2017. "When I was living in Mosul, I was selling cigarettes. Life was good, the markets were booming, but after Daesh came in 2014, they imposed taxes on all sectors under the pretext of Sharia. They confiscated a total of 16 million Iraqi dinars: I had nothing left but managed to escape and out of fear hid in my uncle's home for a week." Yassin has been living in the camp for four months and is earning between 5,000 and 6,000 dinars a day ($4 to $5). "It is an acceptable source of income." REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed SEARCH "MOSUL VENDORS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Qassim Hassan Dawood, an Iraqi displaced from the village of Khorsabad, who fled the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul with his family, poses for a photograph as he sells pickles and olives at Khazer camp east of Mosul, Iraq, February 6, 2017. "During the fighting, we hid in the bathroom for ten days until the area was liberated and then we rushed out towards the Iraqi forces. They helped us leave... to Khazer camp, which is like heaven compared to (life under) Islamic State." Dawood says he earns 4,000 to 5,000 dinars a day ($3.43 to $4.29). "We are more comfortable here. It is enough that my children and I feel safe." REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed SEARCH "MOSUL VENDORS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Moataz Haitham Asi, 18, an Iraqi displaced from the village of Al Kweir, who fled the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul with his family, poses for a photograph as he waits his customers to shave at Khazer camp, east of Mosul, Iraq, February 6, 2017. "I learned cutting hair from my father. I left school because I was worried about the ideas and curriculum which had been adopted in education," Asi says, remembering his youth in Mosul. "If a customer came to shave his hair or beard, we would put someone on the watch because we were worried one of the Islamic State people would come and arrest us." In the camp, Asi works with his father and earns about 5,000 dinars a day ($4.29). REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed SEARCH "MOSUL VENDORS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Saleh Hassan Mohammed, an Iraqi displaced from the district of Hamdaniya, who fled the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul with his family, poses at the vegetable and fruit shop where he works at Khazer camp, east of Mosul, Iraq, February 6, 2017. Once working in interior decoration, he left his home after Islamic State took control of Mosul in 2014. The family first took refuge to another village before settling in the camp. He earns 6,000 dinars a day ($5). REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed SEARCH "MOSUL VENDORS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Ahmed Saleh, an Iraqi displaced from the village of Khorsabad, who fled the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul with his family, poses at the restaurant where he works at Khazer camp east of Mosul, Iraq, February 6, 2017. Saleh used to own a restaurant in his home town, which he and his family left in 2014 after the fighting intensified. They first took refuge in a quieter village, where Saleh worked in another restaurant. In the camp, he earns 20,000 dinars a day ($17). "I can't see any future on the horizon, as I cannot continue to live in the camp and cannot return to my village," he said. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed SEARCH "MOSUL VENDORS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Younis Mahmoud, 21, from the Bartella district in eastern Mosul, who fled the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul with his family, shaves his customer at Khazer camp, east of Mosul, Iraq, February 6, 2017. "After Daesh took control of the city in 2014, haircuts became useless and the conditions of life very difficult... It was forbidden to shave the beard and you needed to follow some criteria to shave heads. They fined me and beat me up when I shaved the hair of one of the children with modern method." Mahmoud works in the camp's main market and earns 8,000 to 10,000 dinars a day ($7 to $8.5). "Life inside the camp is good and safe, but it's expensive." REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed SEARCH "MOSUL VENDORS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Saif Ali Abdullah, 19, from Mosul's al-Shaimaa district, who fled the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul with his family, poses for a photograph at the supermarket where he works in Khazer camp, east of Mosul, Iraq, February 8, 2017. "During the recent battles between the Iraqi forces and Islamic State, I was shot in the head but divine care helped me and one of our neighbours who worked as a rescue worker in the civil defence also helped until we managed to get out with the help of the army." Abdullah completed his treatment in the camp. After recovering his health, he found work in one of the camp's supermarket. He is paid "about 4,000 dinars ($3.4) a day". Before Islamic State entered Mosul in 2014, he was a high-school student. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed SEARCH "MOSUL VENDORS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Noah Wa'ed, 48, an Iraqi Christian displaced from Qaraqosh, who fled with his family when the Islamic State occupied his village in 2014, holds his grandchild as he poses for a photograph at his shop in Ashti 2 camp in Erbil, Iraq, February 12, 2017. Wa'ed remembers how the resident of Qaraqosh, a village with a majority of Christians, were helping each other, how the rich helped the poor, how they had first welcomed the displaced Christians from Mosul before all were all forced to leave. During their escape, the family lived in a church for three days, in a school for three months, later in a hotel and then a house they shared with several families. "Life inside the camp is good but I hope to return to my village if life returns to normal," he said. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed SEARCH "MOSUL VENDORS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Josephine Elias, an Iraqi Christian displaced from Qaraqosh, who fled with her family after Islamic State occupied their village in 2014, poses for a photograph as she is embroidering traditional souvenirs in her caravan in Ashti 2 camp in Erbil, Iraq, February 12, 2017. Once the owner of a shop selling women's clothes, Elias fled with her husband and six sons. She says the family has split now: two of her sons have emigrated to Europe with the help of the United Nations there, and two others are renting a house outside the camp. "I have been doing embroidery and handicrafts, which impressed some neighbours and relatives in the camp. Some people, those with money, asked to buy the embroideries for a small price. Some pieces I just give as a free gift. Many of us don't have enough money," Elias said. She relies on her husband's money. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed SEARCH "MOSUL VENDORS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Nashwan Yousef, an Iraqi Christian displaced from Qaraqosh, who fled the Islamic State with his family after occupied their village in 2014, poses for a photograph at his shop in Ashti 2 camp in Erbil, Iraq, February 12, 2017. "I owned a food shop in Qaraqosh. Business was good and safe until Islamic State came. We thought the matter would be quickly dealt with and we would return after only two or three days, so we left all our possessions behind - money, gold at home, goods in the shop." Yousef, who fled with his wife and four children, moved to a rented house and lived for several months in two different camps before settling in Ashti 2 camp. In the previous camps, he worked as a peddler. At Ashti 2, he built his own shop and earns between 20,000 and 25,000 dinars a day ($17 to $21). "I will return to my village when life goes back to normal and rebuild my destroyed house. Even if I need to build a tent in front of my home, I will do that". REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed SEARCH "MOSUL VENDORS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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"Sometimes I walk; I walk because I haven't got money to travel," said Koffi, an asylum-seeker from Ivory Coast. "Two hours and half, three hours, I walk. But now, I have this bike."

The project is run by employees, volunteers and even some refugees. So how does it work?

They fix donated bikes, and a portion of those are sold to regular customers. That covers the cost to fix bikes for refugees.

The founder said he wants to expand the project to other cities.

And more than a million asylum-seekers came to Europe in 2015; that could mean a greater need for putting refugees on two wheels.

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