NOWPDP: The inclusive initiative

NOWPDP: The inclusive initiative

How NOWPDP* makes enterprising efforts to clean up Karachi, Pakistan.

UPCYCLE: Creating a cleaner and more inclusive world

Sitting atop the Arabian Sea in South Pakistan lies the port-metropolis of Karachi. While the prime sea-front location provides the city’s citizens with incredible sunsets over long sandy beaches, it also gives them a front-row seat to some of the challenges created by littering.

As Executive Director at NOWPDP, Omair Ahmad brings hope to those in Karachi and beyond—he and his organization have made a name for themselves championing disability inclusion. They do this through training, coaching, and helping disabled people find good jobs.  Now they're also focused on tackling the littering problem through NOWPDP's UPCYCLE initiative. 


A smart, inclusive model

UPCYCLE is a clever idea: Clean-up activities provide raw materials like plastic bottles and aluminum cans. These materials are then repurposed by the UPCYCLE team into saleable products like cloth tote bags, coasters, and t-shirts. These items are then sold, raising funds to keep going.

With more and more of the project's tote bags on the shoulders of Karachi residents, awareness just keeps on growing, and so does the number of people wanting to get involved. 

The project has already generated massive support from those in the city, and volunteers turn out in huge numbers to participate in the clean-up events.

And the hope seems to be contagious. Speaking to one volunteer after an event, they said: "I feel like my eyes have just opened. I can see the subtle differences the clean-ups make and beauty in this world."

Omair and the NOWPDP team believe that we can create meaningful and lasting change when we come together, include each other, and work collectively.


It takes a three-step approach to the problem of littering: 

1. Raise awareness of the problem with emphasis that the best action to take is to not litter in the first place.

2. Provide tools and programs for people to take part in clean-up activities.

3. Train, empower and employ people with disabilities to recycle collected waste.

"It's simple: we operate based on umeed, or hope," said Omair, when asked what message he'd like to give the world, "that's how we power through."



* Network of Organizations Working for People with Disabilities

Disclaimer: NOWPDP has received financial contributions from PM Pakistan