Rim Power; Redefining Normal

Transform the self image and empower children in wheelchairs globally.

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Founding Story: Share a story about a key experience or spark that helps the network understand why this project got started or a story about how you became inspired about the potential for this project to succeed.

Mohammed Sayed was born in Afghanistan. His mother died when he was five, and two weeks later he was paralyzed when his house was bombed. His father took him to a hospital and never returned. He lived for seven years in an NGO-operated hospital in the Panshir Valley, met an American nurse at age 12, then came to the United States and began his new life. His desire to empower other children in wheelchairs led him to found Rim Power in 2016.

Which categories describe you? (the answer will not be public)

  • Self-identify race, ethnicity, or origin

If you chose to self-identify your race, ethnicity, or origin, please share here: (the answer will not be public)

Afghan-American

Website

The Website is still in the development stage and is not made public yet.

Location: Where is your organization headquartered? [State]

  • Massachusetts

Location: Where is your organization headquartered? [City]

Watertown

Location: Where is your project primarily creating impact? [State]

  • Massachusetts

Location: Where is your project primarily creating impact? [City]

Cities and towns around the U.S and then expand to the developing world.

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

There are more than150 million children with disabilities, and many are excluded from mainstream society
125 millions are from the developing countries
60.6 million under the age of 15
3.3 million wheelchair users in the United States
121,000 of these children are under the age of 15
Issues that new wheelchair users often grapple with include depression, hopelessness, and loss of motivation.

The empowerment of wheelchair users will be accomplished by creating a comic book about the wheelchair bound superhero, Wheelchair Man; a character who is all about hope and whose life is based on the real life story of the CEO of Rim Power; Redefining Normal, a wheelchair user himself. The super hero will inspire and motivate wheelchair users as well as the general public. The primary goal of the comic book is to revolutionize the way people in wheelchairs think and feel about themselves, and to challenge the general public to rethink the way they may feel about wheelchair users. It will be written to raise the general public’s awareness of the powers and abilities (rather than disabilities) of wheelchair users and to inspire and provide hope to those users who feel that they have lost more than just the use of their legs.

Is your model focused on any of the following traditionally underserved communities?

  • Children who are differently abled

Does your model work within any of the following sectors?

  • Community Development and Empowerment
  • Education
  • Mental Health

Year Founded

2016

Project Stage

  • Start-Up (a pilot that has just started operating)

Example: Walk the network through a specific example of what happens when a person or group engages with your solution.

I am Mohammad Sayed and I want my story to inspire others. Especially, children. I lost everything at age six, but my hope and strong faith kept me moving forward. I don't like to dwell on the past but I have used my past struggles to strengthen me and to steel my resolve to make the future better.

Rim Power will help hundreds of thousands of other children around the world by giving them hope and inspiring them, their families and their communities to find a way to have these children become fully engaged in all aspects of society.

Impact: What was the impact of your work last year? Please also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Rim Power didn't exist last year.

Organization Type

  • nonprofit/NGO/citizen sector

Annual Budget

  • $250k - $500k

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is your solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

We depend on donations and plan to hold fundraisers. We will also start to sell the Wheelchair Man comic book when completed.

Unique Value Proposition: How else is this problem being addressed? Are there other organizations working in the same field, and how does your project differ from these other approaches?

The Wheelchair Man comic is based on the real life of a wheelchair user; the CEO of Rim Power, Mohammad Sayed. It is all about hope and peace. It is an inspirational story that creates an empowered positive role model for children in wheelchairs and projects an image of an enabled, rather than disabled, person requiring a wheelchair.

Reflect on the Field and its Future: Stepping outside of your project, what do you see as the most important or promising shifts that can advance children’s wellbeing?

While character diversification has become more prominent in media, the wheelchair community is woefully underrepresented in positive empowered roles. Wheelchair Man has the potential to be healing for children in wheelchairs, but also enlightening to the able bodied communities.

Source: How did you hear about the Children’s Wellbeing Challenge? (the answer will not be public)

  • Word of mouth

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka, who was it? (the answer will not be public)

Donald Lombardi, CEO of Institute for Pediatric Innovation.

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Photo of Hannah
Team

Hi Mohammad - 

Thank you so much for sharing your story and for the really important work you are doing to change societal narratives and representations of people who use wheel chairs.  I love the way your projects seeks to address the social and emotional implications of using a wheel chair when so often we focus only on the physical aspects. Have you considered creating online or in person forums for people who read the comic book to continue the discussion? How could your work inspire others to also create art that further changes the narrative? In addition to sharing your comic book, what if you created an online curation of other content that relates to this topic ? Looking forward to seeing where you take this.

Thanks,
Hannah