Thursday, 25 March 2010

NFO TukTuk Project

Another report from our friends at New Futures Organisation ("NFO"):

Thanks to the generosity of our friends at CamKids, NFO has recently taken delivery of two TukTuks. The TukTuk (a three-wheeled vehicle pulled by a motorcycle with seating for passengers behind) is a common form of transport in Cambodia and can be seen on the streets of most towns and cities - but most are quite basic and painted in dull colours. As you will see from the pictures, the NFO TukTuks, in contrast, are highly visible!

Painted in bright yellow, decorated with the NFO logo and information about the organisation and kitted out with lights, wheel trims, DVD players and speaker systems, these TukTuks will be based in major tourist centres around Cambodia to serve several purposes. Children from the orphanage and vocational training centre have already had a chance to put their mechanical skills to the test by helping to strip down, renovate, repair and decorate the TukTuks. Some of the older kids have really enjoyed getting involved in the project and are now considering careers in engineering or as mechanics. The TukTuks have also proven useful in helping transport volunteers, equipment and NFO staff around Takeo and out to the rural schools in the countryside.

Their other purpose is to act as three-wheeled mobile advertisements for NFO. Tourists and locals who see (and hear!) the brightly coloured vehicles roaring down the street will see the logos and information and learn about the work we’re doing at New Futures – and hopefully decide to visit Takeo and volunteer with us. The DVD players built into the TukTuks show a short film clip produced by volunteers which shows what life is like here at NFO and drivers have leaflets and information sheets to hand out to potential volunteers and supporters. Of course, each TukTuk also provides a livelihood for its driver, giving him a stable job and income and providing increased security for his family, with any surplus income generated being used to support the orphanage

The first NFO TukTuk is already running in Takeo itself, ferrying volunteers around town and the ‘Phnom Penh Express’ and ‘Siem Reap Flyer’ will be hitting the streets of those cities shortly, with another set to run in Sihanoukville later this year. If you’re planning on visiting Cambodia soon, look out for them!