ICEcycles improving Filipino workers transport options

Friday July 26, 2013

ICEcycles has been helping improve the way Filipino migrant workers get around.

The Christchurch rebuild has seen an influx of migrant workers to the city – many from the Philippines who have never needed to own a car or have a driver’s licence.

Meg Christie, ICEcycles coordinator, says when these workers arrive in New Zealand transport options are limited for them.

“They usually rely on their contractors to get them to work sites early in the morning but outside of work transport options are even more limited – often preventing opportunities for socialising, leisure and recreation, which are all crucial to our wellbeing,” she says.

ICEcycles volunteers recently set about assisting 19 Filipino workers in improving their transport situations through holding a bike fixing workshop, where the workers were able to keep the bikes once they were repaired, Meg says.

“The great thing about this is the workers picked up new skills along the way, helping out with the repairs where they could. The ICEcycles volunteers were also lucky enough to sample some traditional Filipino food thanks to one of the workers’ wives providing a large amount of Arroz Caldo, a Filipino speciality of savoury rice soup,” she says.

“While ICEcycles has helped in a practical way, what is possibly more valuable is the potential this workshop has had for enhancing mental wellbeing and feelings of inclusiveness for this group of migrants.”

To date ICEcycles has done 887 repairs and 412 bike giveaways.

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Page last reviewed: 26 August 2013