The Rosie May Foundation is an international children’s charity, keeping children in families and creating positive futures through education and training. They do work in various developing countries, one of which is Sri Lanka. When we heard about the Pink Tuk Tuks program that they spearheaded Down South in Galle, we knew we wanted to feature these women’s stories in our film. Unfortunately our production was halted due to the pandemic, but once we resume shoots, this program will be one of the first stops on the schedule!
Here is what the Pink Tuk Tuks is all about (and if you don’t know what a Tuk Tuk is, it’s an auto rickshaw, or three-wheeler that is the most common form of private hire taxi in most of Asia):
In 2017 we rolled out our ground breaking pilot programme with the first three single parent mums training to be tuk tuk drivers. This unique concept of women driving for women in highly visible pink tuk tuks as a taxi service is breaking gender and cultural barriers.
The benefits are twofold. Not only can mums generate a sustainable income for their families, but also provide personal safety for women and girls travelling to work and school. Our women drivers are the first in the Southern Province and our aim is to dramatically increase this number over the next few years.
How do women and children benefit?
- Families are lifted out of poverty through the generation of a reliable source of income for their single parent mums.
- Children are kept together with their mums rather than being torn apart by poverty.
- Children have positive female role models
- Children can travel to school safely
- Safe journeys for Women and girls with no risk of sexual harassment and abuse
- Gender equality is promoted
- Mums have more time to work as daughters do not need to be chaperoned to school.
Here is what Ramani, the project manager of the Pink Tuk Tuk program wrote about the current situation:
“We can give you some info regarding the project Down South. We hope to start a similar project in Colombo as well in the very near future. Actually we have trained many women drivers in Colombo just before the pandemic and only 10 have been fortunate enough to obtain their licenses. We will be giving 3 vehicles to women drivers in Colombo by the first of second week of next month. At the moment the drivers in the South are facing a bit of a crisis as many do not hire tuk tuks due to Covid 19. Most have purchased Scooties instead so that they can drive themselves. Many drivers have not much work since the schools have not yet re-opened and some ladies who go on office hires have begun working from home. The tuition classes also have not commences after the pandemic. Due to this situation there are only 3 drivers working at the moment and the others have returned their vehicles until the country turns towards normalcy as otherwise they have to pay us a small sum daily.”
If you are inspired by the work being done by Rosie May and the Pink Tuk Tuks, please donate to them directly on their site at https://www.rosie-may.com/the-
You can also donate to them through our fundraising campaign and earmark a contribution to their cause.