Students of technical courses from the Dr. Nassau College and Vincent van Gogh College in Assen are refurbishing bicycles for young Ukrainian refugees. The students have been working on the project for weeks and have delivered the first few of the refurbished bicycles on June 15th.
“When the municipality approached us with the idea of refurbishing bicycles for Ukrainian students, I immediately thought: we should work on this together with our second classes. That the Ukrainians have had to flee from their own country is terrible. This way we can do something good for these people,” said Jeroen Draaier, a lecturer in Production, Installation and Energy (PIE) at Nassau College, as posted by Assen’s official website.
They were assisted by bicycle technology lecturer Frank Consenheim and teaching assistant Steven Bisschop, alongside their students from the Vincent van Gogh College.
Abandoned or damaged bicycles left in public spaces over long periods of time were the main source of the project, notes the post on Assen’s website. They often came with minor flaws: empty tires, punctured or bent out of shape wheels, and broken saddles.
Of the 190 Ukrainian refugees residing in Assen, 60 are of high school age. They are currently studying an international transition class at the Dr. Nassau College, with the hope that they may regain some of the structure they lost before being forced out of their homes in Ukraine. A new location on the Industrieweg has been opened since May to provide room for the new students to study.
“It is important for young people from Ukraine that they go to school. This prevents learning delays and provides structure. It is also nice if the students can come to school independently, preferably by bicycle,” said Alderman Bob Bergsma.
Ultimately, he continued, the plan is to ensure that all Ukrainian students studying at Dr. Nassau College have a bicycle within the coming weeks.