The Chaeli Campaign was founded in 2004 by sisters, Chaeli and Erin Mycroft, and their lifelong friends, Tarryn, Justine and Chelsea, then all between the ages of six and twelve years. At the time, the girls merely wanted to raise R20,000 for Chaeli’s motorised wheelchair in order for her to be independent. However, once they had raised the funds – within 7 weeks by selling cards with their own artwork on them and Sunshine Pots – The Chaeli Campaign continued to grow and expand as they supported requests for other children in need of wheelchairs.
The Chaeli Campaign, a social justice organisation that advocates for the rights of people with disabilities, has an ethos that embodies the founders’ “can-do spirit” that arises when inclusion is embedded in daily life. Their vision is to mobilise the minds and bodies of children with disabilities and to normalise society through advocacy and educational programmes and events.
[Source: Chaeli Campaign]
The Chaeli Campaign joined FoodForward SA’s beneficiary organisation (BO) network, during the Covid-19 pandemic, in 2020. This was a time when food insecurity was worsening among their beneficiaries, particularly the 40 pre-schools they supported in Masiphumelele, Gugulethu and Phillipi.
In the past, the organisation did not distribute food until the need arose during the tough times of Covid-19. One of their staff members came across a FoodForward SA ad in an email and they applied. They met all the application criteria, were vetted and came on board as a member of FFSA’s BO network.
Zelda says: “It boggles my mind that FoodForward SA’s monthly subscription fee to be part of the network is so little, and you get so much good food in return. What you see here is the very tip of the iceberg of the work that we do, it’s a constant reminder of why we work so hard. So many people say you can only include disabled children when you have a curriculum set up, when there’s a system that works, but at Chaeli Campaign, we say include first then tweak and change things as needed.”
Some of The Chaeli Campaign’s maxims are “administered by adults, powered by kids”. Not only was it started by children but, the children’s needs power the direction of their work. Creativity, flexibility and inclusion are three keywords that drive The Chaeli Campaign.
What a privilege to have this dynamic organisation as part of FoodForward SA’s BO network!