Rickshaw Run

Rickshaw Run

We’ve always tried to make service fun for young people, but our latest project does that better than ever.

This Christmas break, a team of us from across the UK, US and France will embark on a two-week Indian adventure spanning 2000km across the scenic west coast of India. Of course, like any trip full of 18 year olds, we’ll create our own adventures exploring the rich culture of the beautiful sub continent.

But of course, like everything, there’s always, always, a TYP twist on what we do. We thought that during the festive period, it’ll be a great opportunity to share our love and time with the underprivileged young people in India. We’re privileged to be in a situation where we can decide we want to run a project or event and just go out there and do it. Whereas, the majority of people we’ll meet along this trip feel lucky when they get three meals a day, attend a day of school or live past the age of 66. As much as the trip will be a genuinely life-changing experience for the volunteers involved, we want to give back, so we’ve loaded the route with ways we can give back to the local communities.

So, what are we going to do?

During the festive Christmas period, often children living in the slums have no escape where they can enjoy themselves or even relax for a few hours. They’re often expected to support their entire families and often, as sad as it sounds, that involves them begging on the streets for money. This year, for a few hundred children in the slums of Mumbai, Christmas is going to work a little differently. Our team is planning on providing them with a warm meal for Christmas dinner, where they can enjoy feeling free from the burden of supporting their family and enjoy a night messing around with us and the other kids.

Here at The Youth Project, we try to create a long-lasting positive impact on the world around us. I firmly believe there’s no better way for us to do that than providing families with the means of creating their own sustainable income. We’ll achieve this at the end of our trip, when we find struggling families at our final destination – Kerala, South India, that we can donate our rickshaws to. Understandably, following a 2000km ride, the rickshaws may be a little beaten up, but when we get to Kerala, the first thing we’ll do is drive, (or push if it comes to that), our rickshaws to the nearest mechanic to completely repair and refurbish the rickshaws so that they’re back to ‘like-new’ condition. Not only will this allow us to make someone’s day, but we could possibly change someone’s life by giving them the opportunity to work their way out of poverty.

With over 78 million homeless people currently living in India, a number larger than our entire population back here in the UK, we thought there was no better challenge than to try and make a difference on the homeless communities in the cities that we visit. The treatment of the homeless community in India is awful, as the sheer magnitude of people means that it becomes that much easier for us, the public, to ignore them. The Homeless Drive has always been an initiative where we focus on the experience and that won’t change one bit when we travel through these cities delivering resource packs and sharing our love, as we sit and listen to each one of their stories.

Now, none of this is possible without you. We need your help and support to make all of this possible. As expected, the work we’re trying to do doesn’t come cheap. We’ve broken all the costs and created a budget of what we need to be able to finance this trip and really make a difference for the two short weeks that we’re in India. All we’re asking from you is to help us cover the costs of the rickshaws and the charitable aspect of the trip itself to make it more affordable for all the volunteers involved in the trip. What we’ll do in return for you is vlog the entire journey and collect photos and stories along the way, so that you’ll really see the difference that your donation has made towards the life of an underprivileged soul somewhere in the world. However small or large your donation is, every little really does help, because we’ve got a long way to go towards our £15,000 target and your contribution matters.

If you are interested in finding out more about our route, team, plans or interested in donating, please visit – http://typuk.org/projects/rickshawrun

Valavan Ananthakumaraswamy
[email protected]
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