Murals for disabled

One of the Chaeli Campaign’s weekly programmes is providing stimulation and life skills support to young adults with various disabilities to encourage more independence and build self-esteem.

“Three years ago we were donated some mosaics and decided to do a small wall mural in the area where the workshops were being held,” said Diana Phillips, the organisation’s occupational therapist.

“In between other activities the young adults started making some small mosaic objects. However, time and funding delayed the process of making the mural. The workshops were subsequently moved to a carport next door. On my return from hiatus this year we were inspired to fill in the large blank Vibracrete wall and beautify the surrounding workshop space,” said Ms Phillips.

They set to work on the seven metre wide by 2.4 metre high wall. “No experience required, we thought – and perhaps just as well, since there were many sleepless nights towards the end,” she said.

Now it is wonderful to see how everyone who passes by, young adults visitors, facilitators and families, started to show more interest and be involved, contributing their ideas and connecting.

“We were all amateurs at the beginning but what a wonderful and special journey it has been to fit all the pieces of work into a larger and bigger picture. We’ve all grown, discovered hidden talents, made new friends and the end result is something the young adults are so proud of and feel so valued and included,” said Ms Phillips.

She said it has been their way of thanking Chaeli Campaign for all it has done for them and a true reflection of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

“There is always beauty in imperfection – and our communities would be perfect if they appreciated this too,” said Ms Phillips. She is now encouraging people to pop by and view it at 16 Culm Road, Plumstead, near the Plumstead train station.

* The Chaeli Campaign offers a variety of programmes that promote and provide mobility and educational needs for disabled children throughout South Africa.

It also offers facilities and resources to assist disabled communities in any way it can. It collaborates closely with other organisations both nationally and internationally to educate and raise awareness about integration and inclusion.

Their vocation and rehabilitation programme builds on skills and encourages more independence for young adults with various disabilities. They run weekly workshops and rely on donations to do some of their more creative activities.

Contact Shelly on 021 761 4326 or visit www.chaelicampaign.co.za