Mama Agatha

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About 6,000 migrant women learn how to cycle each year in the Netherlands. Cycling is the preferred form of transportation in this country and the laws that protect cyclists are so strict, that most cyclists don’t need to wear helmets. It has been estimated that there are about 22.5 million bicycles in the Netherlands, where the population is only 17 million.

One woman is making sure to help as many women as possible feel safe enough to learn to cycle when they’re already over 40.

Originally from Ghana, Agatha was not raised in a happy home, but she decided at a young age to at least try out everything she wanted to do. Her mother abandoned her at the age of five and left the country. Agatha still mourns her loveless childhood but uses her pain as motivation to live in the service of others.

The women who volunteer at the cycle course have their own difficulties to deal with in their personal lives. Still, they show up and cheer on the immigrant women as they learn how to start pedaling.

So far Agatha has taught over 700 women to cycle and in so doing has helped them develop the self-confidence they need to navigate through all the changes that come with moving to a new country.