Imagine a group of self-proclaimed vigilantes with a sexy name and society-changing goals and you have the Budapest Bike Mafia. This organisation has a unique take on their coined ethos, ‚ÄúRadical Acts of Kindness.‚Äù In fact, the founder is so passionate towards this belief that he has it tattooed on his forearm.
Their slogan is¬†Empathy, Respect, Love, Ride and some of their mandates include moving away from society‚Äôs judgements and perceptions of what success is. Stop being ‚Äúsheeple‚Äù as their website proclaims. They aim to try and restore balance in an increasingly unbalanced society.
The Budapest Bike Mafia (BBM) was founded in a bar in 2011. Zolt√°n Havasi sat down with a good friend and the discussion turned to the homeless at Christmas time. For many of us, Christmas is a time of abundance but for the homeless there is a stark emphasis on what they do not have, most emphatically, food. So the Mafia was born.
The BBM started small,¬†Zolt√°n¬†and four friends headed through the city on their bicycles to deliver sandwiches to the homeless. The BBM is now five years old and has grown to around thirty regular volunteers and around a hundred or so more that drop by to help with deliveries. They have also extended to fund raisers and events to support the organisation financially to continue to supply food to the homeless.
Photographer Rick Davy¬†rode along with them one evening to photograph and experience their radical acts of kindness first hand. He says,¬†”The streets that evening were dark,¬†uncomfortable and wet. The kind of environment the homeless come to expect. I asked the guys what fuelled their interest in the BBM and why they were giving up their free time, they said: We want to do something good. We want to help those that have nothing.”