A black and white image of a Lego figure of a miniature bicycle

Photo: Pixabay

Myla Brouwer’s mother is single and lives on disability benefits. She bought her bike for her daughter, but she said the Dutch travel association ANWB is out of her reach.

All of Myra’s friends had bicycles, as do most Dutch children. Without it, Myra was excluded from much of the social life that is so common in this flat, bike-riding country.

Join ANWB’s Children’s Bike Program, which collects used bicycles, repairs them, and distributes them to disadvantaged children through a national network of local governments and non-profits. What is that goal? A bike for all children.

Riding a bike is “correct”

ANWB spokeswoman Annelies Tichelaar said, “This is our way of contributing to the mobility of children, especially those who grow up in families who do not have enough money to buy a bicycle.” “Owning a bicycle in Holland means freedom, the ability to go to school and clubs, to be with friends and to participate in society. It is a child’s right to roam.

ANWB started the program in 2015 after receiving a request for bikes from an organization in south Rotterdam and realizing that many children were unable to participate in after-school activities because they did not have the money for a bike or public transport. . According to the municipality, more than 10,000 of her children in Rotterdam still do not own bicycles. ANWB in its first year he distributed 40 bikes.

About 5,500 bikes have already been collected this year, but Tichelaar says that is not enough, especially in the current economic climate. “The need is much bigger than this. Every week we get requests for bikes from all over the country.

health and happiness

Erik Spijker, Sports Coordinator, Jeugdfonds Sport & Cultuur, Rotterdam (Youth Fund Sport & Culture), one in five children in Rotterdam grows up in poverty. According to CBS Dutch Statistics Office, the national average is 1 him in her 14, meaning that every school class has her two children. “Something needs to be done for these children,” he says. “Poverty denies access to many social skills and education, making it difficult for people to reach their full potential.”

In a country where children consistently rank among the happiest in global studies, bicycling seems to play a role. says Professor Ruth Wienhoven, director of the World Happiness Database. “When it rains, I get wet. But I’d rather be in the rain sometimes than be behind Mommy’s car all the time.”

Veenhoven says cycling is good for physical health: “Being healthy correlates with happiness, which contributes to physical health. There’s a straight line from biking to health to happiness.”


Myra transforms into a bright pink bike with heart-themed wheel guards for hanging out with friends or biking to the library.

“Also, being able to ride her bike next to me makes it easier when shopping,” the proud mother told ANWB. It has truly enriched my life and it is truly a gift from heaven.

For more information on donating children’s bikes, please visit the ANWB site.

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