Thanks a lot Sightsavers. Yes, we included cycle for the same particular reasons that we wanted to increase our customers base (not only those using wheelchairs but also those using cycles.) and also as you highlighted it becomes a hub for connection between persons with and without disabilities.
We will have a training session before the start of actual repair center. And you highlighted that training will certainly have sessions on financial literacy and also entrepreneurship skills beside core technical skills. We have plans to help them start a small shop in one corner of their repair center that would sell quick food items like tea, bottled water, noodles etc. The reason for this is again, we want to create these centers as some kind of economic hub in that area run by people with disabilities. This will create a certain change in the perception towards people with disability in the community.
Coming to your last query, we had not thought about advocating for their employment within existing cycle repair centers but this might certainly seem like an idea we might want to pursue in our project. What we can do on the repair center is operation, the owner can then give repair training to other people with disability in the community and we/supporting organization can then start advocating for the employment of these trained people in existing repair center. Also there is another exciting project by our friends at National Federation of the Disabled Nepal which is titled Get Hired! - Employment Support Program for Youth with Disabilities. We can also take their help in finding employment for those who take training in our programs.
Thank you Sharmini Constantinescu. We are trying to solve two problems here. One is the providing a local repair shop for wheelchair which is run by person with disabilities themselves. Another is economic empowerment of persons with disabilities by successfully running those repair shop. We are thinking of also giving some entrepreneurial skills in our wheelchair repair training to our participant so that s/he can not only open the wheelchair/cycle repair shop but also start selling items like water, cold drinks, noodles, from the same shop so it becomes a economic hub (small) locally and is more sustainable.