The #DviratisUkrainai campaign, initiated by the Ministry of Transport and Communications, has ended after nearly two months. It brought together citizens of Lithuania, business representatives and institutions to collect 479 bicycles for Ukrainians.
25 collection points were set up throughout Lithuania where bicycles could be donated. The most active were the residents of Vilnius, having donated 145 bicycles, followed by Kaunas with 79, and Klaipėda with 57. Significant number of bicycles were also donated in Telšiai (29), Panevėžys (22), Marijampolė (20) and Rokiškis (19). 108 bicycles were donated in the rest of Lithuania.
Most of the bicycles donated throughout Lithuania are used but in good condition. One third of all donations are bicycles for children.
“Every bicycle donated for #DviratisUkrainai has its own story. People from all over Lithuania have created almost 500 such stories, and we are extremely grateful to each of them. Such a result exceeded all our expectations, but most importantly, we once again proved that we are united and strong in helping our Ukrainian friends,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Marius Skuodis.
For example, during the initiative, a Klaipėda resident, a bicycle enthusiast and collector, repaired and donated 20 bicycles.
A Lithuanian citizen in Germany did not have a bicycle to donate, but he actively spread the message about the initiative of donating bicycles on social media. A German couple, intrigued by #DviratisUkrainai, handed two bicycles to the Lithuanian citizen, who then carried them by ferry to a collection point in Lithuania.
In addition to nearly five hundred bicycles for adults and children, the #DviratisUkrainai campaign in Lithuania collected attributes necessary for safe and convenient cycling — about 400 helmets, more than 300 reflective vests, 100 bicycle lights, more than 1,800 reflectors, dozens of bells, mobile phone holders, tires, and pumps.
These bicycles will serve the citizens of Ukraine for daily travelling to neighbouring settlements and humanitarian aid areas, social and medical centres — as the occupiers are destroying the Ukrainian transport infrastructure, bicycles are becoming the most convenient means of transport in cities and settlements.
Forza, a Ukrainian public non-governmental organisation, which is a partner of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, will make sure that the bicycles reach those who need them the most.
In recent years, similar initiatives have taken place in several European countries. For example, Denmark sent 100 bicycles to Ukraine, while Belgium sent 450 bicycles. Currently, a similar campaign is taking place in Hungary, which has collected 150 bicycles.