Inclusive cycling in the favela
Last Friday, delegates of Folkersma Routing & Sign and the Dutch Cycling Embassy visited a social project in the Nova Holande-favela in Mare, Rio de Janeiro. The visit was initiated after an acquaintance between Henno Folkersma and Daniel Valenca of Ameciclo.
This meeting took place at the Velo-city 2017 in Arnhem-Nijmegen. During their first meeting, Folkersma fell in love with the projects of Ameciclo and decided to support this when possible.
At this years edition of Velo-city, the two met again and Folkersma handed over a cheque of €1.500,- to support Ameciclo with their work. When the Dutch Cycling Embassy heard about this project, they decided to double to cheque, thus raising another €1.500,- for Ameciclo! With this money, many bicycle related social projects can be supported in the city of Rio de Janeiro!
On Friday, Daniel Valenca took Henno Folkersma and Erwin Bouius of Folkersma Routing to visit one of the potential projects in de Nova Holanda-favela. This specific project consists of a bike sharing program, the organization of bike tours and the development of cultural centres where kids learn to dance, get extra eduction and many other things.
The reason which makes this project special is their focus on reducing the borders between this favela and the neighbouring one. Due the rivalry between two gangs, it is not possible to cross the border between the two favelas in a safe way for many people from the favelas. By organising bike tours which cross the borders between both favelas, the project hopes to reduce the impact of this invisible border. It already proves to workthe projects reduce the impact of this imaginaire border.
The project already launched a number of bike pick-up points and a bike repair location. It was impressive to see the work this project does in order to increase the livability of the favela through the bike, despite the challenges they are facing!