Ahmad: Riding On A Smile

At sounddelivery we champion stories that need to be told, stories that challenge prejudice and disadvantage, and have the power to change the world around us. We do this through digital storytelling training with charities and individuals with lived experience and through our events which aim to build capacity within the sector and encourage and champion authentic storytelling. Being the Story is a platform for ordinary people with extraordinary stories to share their experiences widely. Our Being the Story events give a stage to individuals who are a voice for others covering a myriad of subjects. Ahmad came to London a year ago after fleeing Syria and found freedom through receiving a bike from the social enterprise, The Bike Project.

Ahmad arrived in London a year ago after fleeing violence and persecution in his homeland, Syria. Arriving in London he was a stranger in an unfamiliar city, and had no one to turn to for help and support. For Ahmad, getting to and from important places, such as the supermarket and the doctors was a huge challenge on his meagre asylum allowance of £36.95 a week and this is a challenge faced by many refugees in the city.

Ahmad then found The Bike Project which gave him a bike, and with a new bike came freedom. Having a bike has given him the opportunity to experience this unique city in a personal way, and saved his precious allowance. The Bike Project has changed his life and now he’s giving back to help other refugees to get a bike, and feel welcome. The Bike Project, based in Brixton helped 1,300 refugees with free bikes in it’s first three years and has growing support from both locals and refugees who come into to volunteer their time to help others. The project was recently featured in a Channel 4 News film which can be found here.

We invited Ahmad to share his story at our annual digital storytelling training day, the Social Media Exchange 2017. Ahmad shared his personal experiences with a room of over 170 charity staff and expert citizens in this moving Talk.

Since the Social Media Exchange Ahmad has hosted a series of dinners called the ’Aleppo Supper Club’ where he can celebrate and share the culture of his homeland through food and music with different groups of people.

Find out more about the Bike project: www.thebikeproject.co.uk | @The_BikeProject

Telling a great story can change attitudes, challenge stigma and promote social change. Being the Story aims to do just that, find out more about our storytelling platform and please support Being the Story by subscribing to our YouTube channel to hear more powerful firsthand stories.

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