I'm Fr Jaison Paul Mulerikkal, a Carmelite priest in the Eastern Catholic tradition of Syro-Malabar Church in India (http://jaison.mulerikal.in). Though I may not call myself a ‘geek’, I am very interested in using digital technologies for the advancement of spirituality. While I was doing my PhD at the Australian National University - that was 4 to 5 years back - I stumbled upon the idea of building a website for retreat bookings, because I found that many of my friends were struggling to find a proper retreat centre for their annual retreats or to spend some time in quite during their holidays. There wasn't any aggregation site which consolidates offerings of various retreat centres where people could directly book a retreat online.
I was working on this project for the past few years, mainly during my free times, as a hobby. Luckily, there emerged a small enthusiastic team who were determined to pull this project up. They come from different parts of the world - Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Stuttgart, Kochi, Bangalore and many more - but started to work together as a team, to make this dream come true. You can meet them at our promotional website: www.goretreat.com
So, here we are! Starting the crowdfunding campaign on the day of the feast of immaculate conception of mother Mary and will go on till February 6th! We plan to launch the beta version of the website on coming Ash Wednesday (February 10), just in time for Lent and Easter.
A young enthusiastic team of software engineers - www.soarmorrow.com - have started developing the actual website. The front-end of the site is already been delivered by Mr Jacob Jose of www.jekobdesignery.com, a gifted designer. All updates of the development will be briefed to you during the campaign period.
This humble website will allow retreat centres to publish their offerings and prospective attendees to search, find and book them in the convenience of their homes. It will also provide a much needed space for retreat centres to come together under one umbrella and increase their visibility.
How Funds will be Used
Funds will be used to develop the website and to run its office and customer care centre. We may need about $10,000 to launch the the final version of the website, hope the amount raised through crowdfunding will contribute to that.
Once the website is ready, we will encourage and train retreat centres to publish retreats in the website in a phase by phase manner. Hope to start the services in India and Australia in the beginning, with some selected retreat centres. We will expand from there to make it truly global. Fingers crossed!
The project is initiated under the auspices of Communications Department, CMI (Carmelites of Mary Immaculate) Sacred Heart province, Kochi, India. Fr Jaison Paul Mulerikkal CMI will lead the project and Fr Provincial will be its chief patron.
Risks and challenges
Possible challenges include building a global directory of retreat centres and then to convince retreat centres to publish their offerings in the website. In order to create a global directory of retreat centres, we will be launching an innovative "Retreat List Challenge" during the campaign period. Few major retreats centres have already agreed to use our booking site. Once the big ones are in we hope that the small ones will follow.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)