It is our privilege to engage with people, to share positive experiences and to invite community members to focus on the ABILITY and POTENTIAL of our children with disabilities.
Our Therapies Programme benefits hundreds of children in several communities around Cape Town where we offer our regular physiotherapy, speech and occupational therapy sessions. The impact of this programme can be seen where children obtain increased comfort and mobility as a result of regular therapeutic intervention. We also run an on-site therapy centre at Chaeli Cottage (our headquarters in Plumstead, Cape Town) for children from disadvantaged communities. Our education specialist runs an inclusive education programme which includes the Early Childhood Development sector.
Our Assistive Devices Programme benefits children across South Africa. Custom-made assistive devices are provided to improve posture and in support of the great work done by our therapists in making children more comfortable in their own bodies, whilst trying to improve functional use of hands and fingers as well.
The impact of this programme is two-fold: firstly, the lives of the children who have received the assistive devices have been changed and improved, and secondly, the thousands of children at the schools where the programme has been presented and the challenges to raise funds have been accepted have been made aware about disability and have been educated not only about various types of disability but more importantly about the need for inclusion of the disabled into society.
Inclusive Education: We run an ECD inclusion programme in disadvantaged communities as well as support children with disabilities in mainstream schools. We have created a supplement to the Life Orientation curriculum that is being introduced into mainstream primary schools that focuses on creating more accepting school environments. Information is given about various barriers to learning, peer-to-peer solution finding and exercises that promote growing accepting environments.
Through our African Odyssey programme we support a group of 16 families with children with disabilities in Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe, by providing wheelchairs and supporting the establishment of their own charity organisation, Hope In Motion, Chinhoyi.
In late 2005 Sibongile Chanengeta contacted Zelda Mycroft (Chaeli Campaign CEO) as she had seen a report in a magazine about our children having mobilised Chaeli. Sibongile and her husband, Never, had a daughter, Leona, who had brittle bone disease, and our children brought us together. Never and Sibongile have founded an organisation to create an awareness around the role and dignity of the disabled in society in Mashonoland West and have named this organisation “Hope In Motion”. They describe Hope In Motion, Chinhoyi, as the sister organisation of The Chaeli Campaign.
Sadly, Leona passed away on 25 November 2007, but her parents continue to campaign for the dignity of the children with disabilities in Chinhoyi and in this way continue to honour Leona. Her legacy of love and perseverance live on in this community, and we salute Never and Sibongile for the lion’s task they have undertaken!
Social Entrepeneurs Programme :
In April 2009 we launched our Pay-It-Forward Ambassadors Programme. This programme grows a relationship with a group of young people who want to work with The Chaeli Campaign to promote our events in their schools and in their communities, but also have an opportunity to learn about social entrepreneurship and growing their own projects. The backbone of the project will be to:
- promote Chaeli Campaign events (e.g. Art & Poetry Competition, Grand Prix, Junior Chaeli Riders, etc.) at their school and in their community in order to raise a positive awareness of inclusion and diversity re: disability;
- Grow their own events or projects: we will provide guidance through brainstorming and support with logistics;
- Attend a monthly workshop session (2 hours per month) where they receive information / training and are able to brainstorm issues around how entrepreneurship can create positive change in people and communities.
Each young person commits to being a Pay-It-Forward Ambassador for one year – this is essential for each of them to have time to grow in knowledge, confidence and also to grow their own ideas of how they intend being agents of change in their own communities. The programme currently runs in Cape Town, Kimberley and Bloemfontein and we will be rolling it out in other major cities in the near future.
Advocacy & Outreach
The Chaeli Campaign hosts a number of advocacy events during the year to promote both the work being done as well as to educate the community about disability and the concept of inclusive education and inclusive living within the community. The focus of these events is to celebrate diversity and inclusion, promote the concept of universal accessibility and open the minds and hearts of non-disabled people to the contribution people with disabilities have to make to their communities.
Vocation & Rehabilitation The Chaeli Campaign presents a Vocation and Rehabilitation Programme at Chaeli Cottage where the target group for the skills transferral is intellectually and physically disabled young adults. This programme has taken the form of a coffee shop and craft workshops. The aim is to provide disabled adults with an opportunity to learn skills and practise them in a work situation.
Adults with disabilities also attend regular art and craft workshops where socialisation, interaction and team work are encouraged with skill transferral and FUN being the other spin-offs. What we aim to achieve with the programme is:
- Increased self confidence
- Improved communication skills
- The ability to follow instructions
- An increased confidence in their own ability to grow their skills
- Create an inclusive environment that will wow able-bodied patrons – show what can happen when an inclusive environment grows naturally
Some of these young people are also being supported in employment opportunities in commercial business.