Dear friends and supporters,
I hope this update finds you all in good spirits!
The Rickshaw Project has come a long way since our last update. After a year of experimentation and trial, and finally finding the perfect retrofitting solution, the team (Mustafa, Imran, Pervaiz, Mohammad Ali, Rauf, and Reem) with a lot of help from Nabil and Omair (the core NOWPDP team) have made a rather huge decision - we're selling off our second-hand rickshaws and purchasing brand new ones. Let me explain further...While our second-hand, retrofitted rickshaws were little miracles that have given us in depth knowledge and understanding of, well, rickshaws, we decided it would be better to have brand new ones until we have the funds to hire our own in-house mechanic and run our own mini-workshop for small repairs and day-to-day maintenance.
New rickshaws are more fuel efficient and reliable. The retrofitting for accessibility will be done by the manufacturer, ensuring quality and safety. We also want to encourge the widespread manufacturing/sale of hand-controlled rickshaws, so that anyone with a disability has access to them, not just people working with The Rickshaw Project. We feel it's another small step towards inclusion and equal access.
We've got a good price for each of the second-hand rickshaws, and will be using the funds to purchase new ones. Your donations will still be utilized in the same way; however, since there will be no need to retrofit, the funds will suppliment the money we get from the sale of the second-hand rickshaws, and go towards buying new ones.
Your help and support has given us the tools to truly understand everything before we begin scaling, and to make all the right choices to ensure long-term sustainability. For that, we thank you.
Feel free to email me with any questions you my have - firstname.lastname@example.orgPS - We are however, keeping the rickshaw that we experimented on, and that brought everything and everyone together. We just can't let her go.
Dear donors, supporters, and friends,
The last three months have been very interesting for The Rickshaw Project team. Here is a quick update on what we've been working on.
1. Over the last three months, our driving crew has undergone the following trainings -
-Road training/driving lessons/traffic signs
-Basic english conversation skills (for non-Urdu speaking customers who will use our rickshaws)
-Advocacy training/advocacy roadmap which the team will use to adress key issues over the course of the project
2. Suzuki Motors in Pakistan heard about The Rickshaw Project and has offered to help us further improve our rickshaws. Their R&D department has offered to look at the existing retrofitting for accessibility, and add safety features at no additional cost. Our crew is simply thrilled!
3. Avari Hotels Karachi has partnered with us! The entire hotel staff made a donation from their "Tips for Life" fund towards the retrofitting and refurbishment of one rickshaw. Thank you Avari.
4. The project received a donation from a wonderful French artist who recently exhibited his paintings here in Karachi, Pakistan. Proceeds from the sale of two of his paintings were donated to The Rickshaw Project! We will be able to retrofit and design three rickshaws with the donation! We're very happy...
5. The rickshaw team, along with some help from friends the the project, build a ramp at our field office. Please do check out the attached pictures.
Next week, we will be heading to the Traffic and Licensing Office, with our newly retrofitted rickshaws, to obtain our drivers licenses. Wish us luck!
Check out our facebook page for frequent updates and photos!
Dear donors, supporters and friends,
Here is a quick update on what we've been working on since our last update -
1. We hired an additional 5 crew-members and began training on the 1st of November.
2. All new recruits have obtained a learning license, and road training has begun.
3. We have refurbished and retrofitted one additional rickshaw; we aim to retrofit/refurbish at least 2 more over the next month.
4. We have our very first client who has booked our first rickshaw weekday mornings and evenings. We are working on getting more orders/bookings for our functional rickshaw so we can begin testing our financial model.
5. We finally painted and decorated the first rickshaw; picture attached!
6. The crew has been participating in the disability sensitization training and school outreach programmes; they have been involved in the design of the programmes and will be an integral part of the implementation of these programmes.
As always, feel free to email me with questions, concerns, suggestions and ideas!
Dear family, friends, and supporters,
I would like to share with you what the team and I have been working on since our last report.
Even though we haven't raised all of our fundraising goal of USD 10,000, we decided to begin a slow roll-out using a portion of the funds raised on GlobalGiving. So, we began the refurbishment and retrofitting of three rickshaws, and have hired 6 crew members who joined our team on the 1st of November!
Syed Ali, Muhammad Rauf, Siraj, Muhammad Ali, Pervaiz, and Muhammad Hanif had their first orientation session yesterday, during which they were introduced to the project and it's objectives. They were completely on-board, and had some excellent ideas of their own to share regarding the project. Today, we obtained their medical/physical fitness certificates, which are necessary in order to obtain a learner's permit. Next, we get their learner's permits. Then, let the training begin! :)
We have also identified a mechanic for our team. The operations manager, myself, and the mechanic spent yesterday afternoon looking at each rickshaw, and communicating in a mix of sign language, writing, and lots of laughter! The interaction really motivated me to brush up on my sign language skills, and make sign language a necessary component of crew training.
Meanwhile, our very first rickshaw is up and running; we are currently offering the rickshaw service to family and friends only, so that we can get feedback (without judgement) and work out all the operational kinks.
Finally, we have been given a beautiful office space, completely free of cost, for one whole year! All project activities (training, retrofitting, refurbishment etc) will take place here. Please see attached pictures.
So, I'd like to send you another heartfelt thank you for helping us achieve all of this... I wish you could all be here to meet the team, and to feel the energy/excitement we feel in getting things started!
We do have a little bit more money left to raise, so do keep passing on the link to our Global Giving page. http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/rickshaws-by-people-with-disabilities/
Wishing you a happy weekend,
Reem and the project team.
Dear donors, supporters, friends,
We wanted to share with you a short video clip we have put together - https://vimeo.com/50627047
It is the first of a series of video clips we are working on in order to explore the problems faced by PWDs, as well as various aspects of our project and its reasons for existing. :)
Do join our facebook page for day-to-day updates on the project. So much is happening every single day so there's lots to talk about!
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