Milestone’s New Building Under Construction
There is good news that Milestone is going to have its own office in 2014. The idea is to make it a focal point of Independent Living Movement – where severe disabled persons can learn how to manage themselves while using PA service. Also in the new office, peer counselling sessions and advocacy activities will take place and assistive technologies will be developed. We have secured a piece of land and started a construction work as a challenge. We believe that we could complete it one day.
Interestingly, this will be the first building of ‘universal design’ in Pakistan. We have a professional architect with us who made the basic design and a prestigious company that did the structural engineering part to ensure earthquake resistance and carefully evaluated construction materials. The City Government approved of the design and now we are at the stage of construction work. Milestone staff have a duty to see the measurements on a daily basis. I have studied a bit in the US about the universal design and we will try our best to make it good. We are enjoying our work so much that it is not hard at all. It is great fun to be part of the disability movement.
When I was a trainee on the Duskin program one day Masako san said to me, ‘Shafiq, just start working, resources will be follow you...’ And my experience after the Duskin training is that, whenever Milestone started a project we always got support from someone, somewhere. We are lucky that we have a very united and loving team in Milestone and the greatest thing is that we have four DUSKIN leaders in Milestone who work together with great respect and love. Our other staff members are also trained and supported by the Mainstream Association and JIL.
This is the biggest challenge we have been faced with in the 21 years of MILESTONE history. We need your support, guidance and prayers. It is our dream that our new IL center with a large accommodation facility will be recognized as the impact of the Duskin leadership training. It is my dream that someday we will have all ex-Duskin trainees meeting up in Pakistan (it is the wish of my life) so that we could share the progress and set future goals together.
Shafiq ur Rehman (from the 3rd program)