Last month I had the privilege to meet Chaeli Mycroft from the Chaeli Campaign. She is such an inspiration and had such a beautiful energy, that you walk away from a conversation with her feeling optimistic and energised, ready to take on any challenge! I got introduced to Zelda, Chaeli's mother and she was too happy to make use of my services. We decided to photograph the children in the preschool as gift for their parents as well as portraits of the staff that works the magic day to day.
The amazing thing is that the Chaeli campaign was started by five young girls, aged between 6 and 12. Chaeli and her sister, Erin along with their friends, Tarryn, Justine and Chelsea, all sisters, started the campaign to raise R20 000 for Chaeli's motorised wheelchair. This they did by selling cards and Sunshine Pots, which are DIY miniature pot plants. The cards displayed artworks of Erin and Chaeli and is still available.
Because there was such a great interest and support the campaign just get growing organically. The aim is to is to change the life of one disabled child at a time in a significant way. This through the following initiatives:
- Therapies Programme - Regular physiotherapy, speech and occupational therapy sessions in several communities around Cape Town.
- Assistive Devices Programmes - Custom-made assistive devices to improve posture and functional use of hands and fingers.
- Inclusive Education - ECD (Early Childhood Development) inclusive programme for disadvantaged communities as well as support children with disabilities in mainstream schools.
"Our Vision is to mobilise the minds and bodies of children with disabilities and to normalise society through advocacy and education programmes and events."
I met the amazing children of the Chaeli Cottage Preschool and Enrichment Centre with Debbie Prudromme. It smelled of cooked and was filled with laughter. It is an inclusive Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centre in Plumstead. They currently have 16 children - a beautiful group of children with disabilities learning and playing side by side with able bodied children.