Network of Organizations Working for People with Disabilities, Pakistan

NOWPDP seeks to create an inclusive society for people with disabilities in Pakistan. Its objectives are: - Generate a greater level of awareness about the needs and rights of people with disabilities. - Create employment opportunities for people with disabilities to gain economic independence. - Protect and advocate for the right of people with disabilities. - Increase the capacity of organisations working on disability across Pakistan.
Oct 28, 2013

Improving Operations, Sensitizing workplaces!

The most incredible team in the world!
The most incredible team in the world!

Dearest supporters, friends, and cheerleaders,

It's time for another update on The Rickshaw Project - I'm sure you're all anxiously waiting to hear what we've been up to!

The Rickshaw Team decided to bring on board a super-skilled mechanic. We met Shabaz when we were purchasing our three shiny new rickshaws from Stahlco, a local rickshaw manufacturer. He was working with them at the time, but had already given his one month's notice, when we decided it would be perfect to scoop him up for our own team! He's not only keeping our rickshaws in tip-top shape, but also handling customers, tracking rickshaw usage, billing, and other operational tasks. This has really helped me (the project manager) as it has freed up a lot of my time to work on advocacy and sensitizations efforts.

Speaking of sensitization efforts, the international chain of restaurants the Rickshaw Team has been working with has met their 2 percent quota for people with disabilities! They are not yet announcing this as they want to ensure that every single person with disabilities hired is fully, gainfully, and happily integrated into their respective environments with the help of our team's sensitization work. We are now in the early stages of discussions with a large corporation with factories across Pakistan to do the same thing - work with them to ensure a completely inclusive work environment at their Head Office and all their factories over the next year and a half. And who better to do this than our very own Rickshaw Team! :D

We are also currently searching for more customers. We've managed to get some regular customers who are pleased with the service and happy to be partnering with us. We've begun generating revenue, and are seeing it rise steadily each month. We've stuck to word-of-mouth advertizing thus far so as not to be overwhelmed with calls. Most of our customers so far have heard about our service from some and have wanted to try it. So we feel our strategy is working quite well!

Finally, we will have a new person join our team on the 1st of November. She will be working on developing advocacy and sensitization materials with the Rickshaw crew-members. We want to incorporate audio-visual material in our training sessions (one-minute clips depicting the various barriers faced by people with disabilities in society). Our new team member will spend her days working on this exciting, essential, constantly evolving task.

As always, please do feel free to email me with any questions you may have. I can be reached at reem@nowpdp.org and at +92 345 827 7017

Sincerely,

Reem

PS - I have attached a couple of recent pictures of the team. Enjoy!

The team-family
The team-family
Aug 22, 2013

Successful Wrap up of Round 1 and First AfC Exhibition

Training Session in Process
Training Session in Process

Artpreneurs for Change wrapped up its activities of Round 1 in the first week of June 2013. The activities began in March 2013 and they consisted of:

  • Selecting individuals to be trained by an internationally certified art therapist. The training spanned over a period of about 24 hours and included different art as therapy activities, different developmental psychological theories, how to engage the clients in group therapy, and a short session on disability sensitization
  • After the training, the Art as Therapy Practitioners (selected individuals who underwent training) were sent into the schools where they worked with children with disabilities over a period of 12 weeks. The disabilities they worked with include: physical disabilities, intellectual disabilities, hearing impairments, children on the Autism Spectrum, and Down's Syndrome
  • Many of the Art as Therapy Practitioners noticed a gradual change in the behaviour as well as in the social interactions of the children. In some cases their emotional development was visible in the artwork while in some it was visible in their stories and their interactions with the Art as Therapy Practitioners
  • Any queries would be addressed in the support and supervision session with the art therapist.
  • All of the sessions were wrapped up successfully. Some of the Art as Therapy Practitioners were so influenced by their experience that they have requested to continue working with their respective groups in the next round.

Another achievement in the past three months is that we managed to set up an exhibition for artwork from our pilot round. The main purpose of the exhibition was to create an awareness of art as therapy as a practice amongst people in the Karachi art community. We managed to, successfully, reach out to a lot of people as well as to sell about 11 paintings.

Our aim is to continue having more exhibitions so that we can not only generate some funds for the project, but also continue in creating an awareness about art as therapy. Currently we are in the process of promoting our activities using different forums, along with planning for Round 2.

During an Art as Therapy session
During an Art as Therapy session
A piece of 3D artwork done during the sessions
A piece of 3D artwork done during the sessions
A View of our Stall at the Exhbition
A View of our Stall at the Exhbition

Links:

Aug 12, 2013

We've begun operations!

Reem and Omair with Adama, our first customer!
Reem and Omair with Adama, our first customer!

Dearest friends and supporters,

It's been a few months since our last update, and this time we have exciting news - 

  We've begun operations on a small scale!!!

 As you may recall, we made the difficult decision of selling off our second-hand rickshaws. With the money we collected from the sale, we have bought three shiny new ones, with a fourth on the way! These new, smooth-running rickshaws have literally changed our lives for the better. It was a good decision, and one we were able to make due to your continued support and trust.

We've also experienced the thrilling milestone of having someone sign up as our very first customer! Adama moved to Karachi from the Ivory Coast a few months ago, and has been using our rickshaws to get to and from work everyday. We're so happy/pleased/delighted to have him on board! A picture of him, with Omair (the Executive Officer of NOWPDP) and myself is attached below.

Another piece of interesting news - a marketing genius (who wishes to remain anonymous) recently donated some of his time and skills to give us some marketing advice. He enouraged us to begin operations quietly, and continue to keep a low profile. His advice was to stick to word-of-mouth marketing for now, along with targeted promotion of the project at offices, schools, and universities until we have at least 50 rickshaws in our fleet. That is when he promises to step in and help us promote the project on a large scale. We're truly lucky to have such incredibly dedicated and helpful mentors/supporters!

The Rickshaw Project Team is doing well. They have been taking a lead in holding disability sensitization sessions at an international chain of restaurants here in Karachi. The management of the restaurant approached us, as they are keen to make the restaurant an inclusive space for both customers and employees. Our project team has therefore held 6 sessions with the restaurant staff so far, with about 21 to go. As a result, about 35 people with various disabilities have been hired by this restaurant, and are being put in roles matched to their skills sets and abilities. Our team is also working with them on the physical accessibility of the restaurants - a rare first in Pakistan!

The team has also been quite tough on me as the project manager when it comes to meeting deadlines and getting things done. They are involved in all decision-making, are a crucial part of all project plans, and have been playing the important role of managing operations until we can find the funds to hire a full-time operations manager. There is a true sense of ownership and responsibility displayed by each team-member, which makes this an incredible environment to work in. 

Finally, we will soon be pitching our three-year plan to various parties with the goal of finding a suitable long-term sponsor to support us by helping us with our operational costs until such time as we break even. It's going to be a tough journey, but we're certain of our projections, plans, and ambitions, so we're completely ready to do this!

As always, please feel free to email with with any questions or concerns that you may have at reem@nowpdp.org

We wish you a wonderful day, and thank you for your constant support and encouragement.

Lots of love,

The Rickshaw Project team

The first new rickshaw!
The first new rickshaw!
The second new rickshaw!
The second new rickshaw!
The newest new rickshaw!
The newest new rickshaw!
Donation Options
An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?