About 15 volunteers repaired several bicycles Friday evening for use by Syrian refugees both already in or coming to Nova Scotia.
“Instead of being home, I would like to help other people who need their bikes working nicely. So this is why I’m here: to fix all the bikes,” said Muataz Mahdi through interpreter Najwan Albarghouthi.
Mahdi arrived in Canada last year as a refugee from Iraq.
About 175 bicycles were donated late last year. The repair session, which was held at Citadel Community Centre, is one of several planned.
The Halifax Cycling Coalition and the Ecology Action Centre are a couple of the groups organizing the initiative.
Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia will give the repaired bikes to newcomers in the spring.
“We have a lot of small children in the group, and so it will be very exciting for them to learn how to ride a bike and to be outside and riding in the neighbourhood and getting to know other kids,” said Alicia Browne, who works for the organization.
Enough bikes were collected to meet the current demand, but financial donations are still being accepted at Cyclesmith near Agricola and Willow Streets for necessary repairs and parts in the future.
“Experiencing Nova Scotia by bike is getting better every year, and to bring more cyclists into the fold is always exciting,” said Adam Berry, who works for the Ecology Action Centre.
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