Ink Road, Black & White’s YA imprint, is set to launch its first title this month – The Jungle by Pooja Puri. The book follows Mico, an unaccompanied child trying to make sense of his new life in the migrant encampment in Calais commonly known as ‘the Jungle’.
With the launch of the book, author Pooja and the publisher are also keen to promote a London-based charity called The Bike Project.
“Mico desperately wants to be part of the bike crew that fix up and sell bikes to fund their escape from the Jungle. The bikes aren’t just a form of transport; they offer a rare opportunity to take control in a life shrouded by uncertainty. The bike is in many ways a symbol of hope” Pooja says. “This is why I am so proud to be supporting The Bike Project. Based in London, this charity takes second-hand bikes, fix them up and donate to refugees and asylum seekers. In doing so, they offer refugees a vital helping hand in getting their lives back on track” she continues.
“The Bike Project is a small charity that has a big impact on the people they work with” says Campbell Brown, managing director at Black & White. “In publishing the incredibly topical The Jungle, which ties in so perfectly with their important work, we have an opportunity to promote them in whatever way we can. We’re donating a bike or two, as is Pooja and her family, and we’re actively encouraging others to do so too. We’re including The Bike Project’s flyers in our mailouts and promotions, including a Books on the Underground drop. We’re also hoping to raise funds at the launch at Waterstones Tottenham Court Road on March 18th, where The Bike Project will be present”.
The Bike Project – Getting Refugees Cycling
The Bike Project is a registered charity based in south London. Since launching in March 2013 they have donated over 2,000 bikes.
At least 20,000 asylum seekers seek sanctuary in London each year whilst over 27,000 bikes are abandoned in the same period. Just one of these bikes can help an asylum seeker access crucial services and appointments and save them £21.20 a week on a bus pass. When you’re living off of £36.95 asylum support, that makes a big difference.
In 2015 they also began to provide female asylum seekers and refugees cycle training as many of the women that we see are from societies where females were not encouraged to ride a bike, or where doing so was not considered appropriate.
Some of the bikes they receive are sold through The Bike Shop to generate funds, the proceeds of which ensure longer term financial sustainability. You can also donate money directly to them or become a monthly sponsor.