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365

Days to go

570 days
6th July 2019

Mercy Corps: Bikes Connecting Youth in Zaatari Refugee Camp

The last leg of the Quad is when you rely on you bike to get you over that finish line. Other people around the world rely on their bikes as well, but for different kinds of challenges.

Meet Yousef, a Syrian teenager living in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. Zaatari is more than a camp; it’s a small city home to 80,000 refugees and spans two square miles. Where few own cars, buses are limited, taxis are too expensive and walking at length in the desert heat is dangerous, having a bike is a lifeline in the camp.

Bikes connect friends and families. People use bikes to commute to work and bikes themselves provide jobs through repair shops. In the Zaatari refugee camp, bikes allow movement and give people a sense of freedom, which can mean so much for those who are far from home and feel trapped in the camp.

Yousef uses his bike - amongst many things - to attend one of Mercy Corps’ youth centres, which serves as an informal school, gym and social centre for the camp’s young residents. Through the sports provided, such as football, weightlifting, wrestling, gymnastics, and aerobics, he has made friends, released stress and learned the value of positive thinking. For Yousef, these sports activities have given him a sense of hope he had all but lost: he has been inspired to become a sports coach when he grows up.

Your fundraising efforts can support activities such as these, which help young refugees cope with trauma, learn life skills and build healthy relationships. 34 miles on your bike may seem like a lifetime, but your determination can support individuals living in crisis with help that will have a lasting impact.


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