Canta Commission East is a community project using Makkies to help the elderly in their daily lives.
For the elderly, small distances can become great obstacles. Now, those in Amsterdam’s Indian Neighbourhood can be driven with the Canta: a small vehicle designed for the disabled that does not fall under the rules of cars. Each journey costs one Euro – or one Makkie.
One of the users, Mrs Chaand Kandhaichaube-Jagdew, has just come out of hospital. She still is weak and she needs time to recover, but the Canta programme has helped her quickly get back to a normal life: “I have a scootmobile but now I do not dare to ride it. I am not stable enough,” says Chaand. “With Canta, it’s nice that there is someone with me when I go out to the bank or supermarket”.
The Canta Commission East was an idea of the two sisters, Shazia and Jasmin Ishaq of the MOI foundation (MOI Social Enterprise Indian Neighbourhood).
“Just going to the local market, to the hospital of to go visit someone: those are the type of trips in the neighbourhood that pose a problem for the elderly,” says Shazia. “A taxi is too expensive and you have to order a ride with Connexxion [the local public transport company that offers trips for disabled and elderly] way in advance. Just getting dropped off for a small errand at the supermarket is impossible”.
With the Canta programme, “we can stop on the way and also we have time for a little chat.”
Benaja Elmont (23 years) is one of the regular drivers. “It’s pleasant,” he says. “I like to listen to the stories of the older people”.
The service is such a success that the two sisters are looking ahead already: “We’ve just applied for a second Canta to expand the service”.