New social enterprise project helping refugees and displaced people
Navjot Sawhney with the prototypes
An Ealing man has created a new scheme aimed at helping refugees and displaced people throughout the world.
The Washing Machine Project is a fledgling social enterprise run by Southall resident Navjot Sawhney along with volunteers.
This year, it's achieved a huge milestone and has partnered with Oxfam for a pilot study of the prototype machine.
The project is currently sprinting to the finish making 50 washing machine prototypes, and local businesses like the Big Yellow Storage Ealing have been supporting the team.
Friends of the volunteers from all over the city and beyond have also been turning up to muck in, varnishing wood, drilling drainage holes and ironing out kinks.
On the 1st December, the washing machines will be sent to internally displaced people camps run by Oxfam in Iraq.
The project's founder, Navjot, said:
"I was inspired to start developing a manual washing machine when I learned of the physical and social impacts of hand washing clothes on women I met in Southern India. I realised that a cheap manual washing machine could transform their lives and free up hundreds of hours of their time a year."
The project is now focussing on supporting refugees and displaced people, who are even more vulnerable to water scarcity, and developing a machine that also uses less water than hand washing or electrical machines.
During the Iraq pilot, families - will be experimenting with the washing machines for two months and the project will record their feedback, and adjusting the design accordingly.
Read more about The Washing Machine Project here
19th November 2019