Many people have successfully and unsuccessfully attempted to summit Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa’s highest mountain, yet no quadriplegic has ever done it before. Until now that is.
Twenty-year-old Michaela ‘Chaeli’ Mycroft is currently on a deeply moving and inspiring seven-day journey that will see her achieve this feat along with a team, collectivley called the Chaeli Kili Climbers. Thanks to the wonders of technology, the world can follow and be a part of this journey with the help of various online tools.
Mycroft co-founded The Chaeli Campaign to raise R1 million for her organisation’s Inclusive Education Programme and The Chaeli Cottage Inclusive Preschool and Enrichment Centre. The campaign, founded in 2004 and originally set up to help Mycroft buy a specialised wheelchair, grew to a non-profit that helps disabled children around South Africa.
The idea for the climb first arose in 2011 and Chaeli had been preparing for the climb, with the help of friends, family, her team and generous donors ever since.
The Chaeli Kili Climbers, consisting of Mycroft and six co-climbers officially began their journey yesterday and you can follow their journey through a number of online resources:
Live maps and email updates
A Google Map is currently plotting the journey from start to finish. You can click on a particular route or stop over to see what the team is up to, the day’s weather conditions, the mountain’s altitude and more information
You can have daily updates sent to your inbox directly from the team as they go along by subscribing on the Chaeli Campaign website.
“This is a serious undertaking – both for me but also for my fellow climbers – and it is brilliant that we will have people all over the world willing us on like this,” Mycroft said.
“What is also amazing is that by using this site people will be able to find out exactly where we are, exactly what we’re doing, and even see our faces as we make our way up the mountain. As a way of making people feel involved in the climb, it is second to none, and I really hope it makes people feel as if they are there themselves and encourages them to support our cause both now and in the future,” she added.
You can find out more about the Chaeli Campaign Kilimanjaro climb route, the mountain itself, some of Mycroft’s other achievements, the team, their preparations leading up to the climb, see photos and videos, leave a message of support and make a donation to the Chaeli Campaign on the the website.
Many South Africans have already sent their messages of support for Chaeli and her team, including prominent South Africans such as Western Cape premier, Helen Zille, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and former president of South Africa, FW De Klerk.
The Kilimanjaro climb ends on 4th September. Chaeli will also be celebrating her 21st birthday on the 30th August. We wish the Chaeli Kili Climbers all the best.