Last week I took my Refugee Travois prototype to a local gathering of moms and students. My goal was to see how the moms used the belt system (they all like different approaches, which was interesting) and how comfortable they were towing children across the bark-strewn area.
Well, as you can see from the photo compilation below, the kids had a great time getting rides in the travois. The moms – even those with babies in their arms – could easily tow children in the travois. The kids also could tow other kids.
One 65-pound 9-year-old easily towed two kids whose combined weight was 85 pounds. She even did it with her hands pumped in the air. (See video of Lydia pulling the travois by clinking hyperlink below.)
Lydia pulling the travois!
It was great to see the Refugee Travois in use. After its great success, I started contacting aid agencies in Africa, like UNICEF, Save the Children, and the UN in Somalia. I also am contacting U.S. founders of African NGOs (like Carolina for Kibera) to see if they can put me in touch with organizations that might be interested in using the travois. I’m lucky that my mother is the president of the board of directors of ABAN, an NGO in Ghana. That’s how I’m getting some of my contacts.
I’m also lucky to have a great 3M Mentor, Patrick Hager, who has been so supportive during this whole process. When I was crumbling last week, thinking how it would be impossible to get my Power Point presentation within the 5-minute limit, Dr. Hager told me I could do it. So I believed him, and I did it!
By the way, if you'd like to learn more about my visit to Raleigh last week, check out: http://chapelboro.com/pages/14322671.php?.