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‘Epic journey’ to raise funds for kids

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Engelbrecht is one of a 12-person-strong team, including a crutch runner and a one-hand cyclist, who will be participating in the 2018 OCAL (One Chance at Life) Global Journey for Change

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A 32-YEAR-old Northern Cape resident, who is hearing impaired, will be participating in a 2 200km, 10-day challenge to raise funds for differently-abled children in rural communities in the Province.

“The beneficiaries will be children from the Northern Cape in the Karoo. It broke my heart to read about the neglect there, so that’s also why I want to take part in this journey,” Warnell Engelbrecht, who lives is Concordia near Springbok, said.

Engelbrecht is one of a 12-person-strong team, including a crutch runner and a one-hand cyclist, who will be participating in the 2018 OCAL (One Chance at Life) Global Journey for Change.

The event, sponsored by Totalsports, started in Centurion yesterday and will make its way through the Kalahari, hugging the border of Namibia and the Cederberg Mountains before culminating at the start line of the FNB 12 OneRun in Cape Town on May 20.

All funds raised will be used to provide assistance to 133 Northern Cape children with mental and physical disabilities, commonly resulting from cerebral palsy, spina bifida, amputations, genetic syndromes, spinal injuries and traumatic brain injuries.

This is the third OAL Global’s annual Journal For Change initiative.

Born hard of hearing and with an innate taste for adventure, Warnell said that when he saw that OCAL was doing this epic 10-day journey, he knew it was an opportunity to challenge himself.

“There is not really much attention on differently-abled people but at OCAL Global they put more attention on this and the OCAL Global members see this on a larger scale. That’s why I see this as my opportunity to help create more awareness because I myself am a hard of hearing person,” he added.

OCAL founder, Nicolene Anley, pointed out that this year’s team was likely to face extreme challenges on the journey, “from sore bodies and self-doubt to soaring temperatures and driving rains, but in their darkest hours they will endure, knowing that their efforts will not be in vain”.

Anley stated that she had “an eye-opening experience in the Northern Cape” which has the highest prevalence of persons with disabilities in South Africa (11%).

“In the time I spent in these local communities the harsh reality was realised of just how little to no support there is for mentally and physically differently-abled kids in the rural communities of the Pixley area of the Northern Cape,” Anley said.

“All funds raised during the OCAL 2018 Journey for Change will be used to purchase, in consultation with our occupational therapist partners, wheelchairs, walkers, crutches and other equipments catering for the children’s immediate mobility and day-to-day living needs.”

Anley added that the organisation would continue to look for funding and partners to ensure that it made a sustainable long-term change in the lives of these vulnerable children.

Members of the public can follow the Journey for Change on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram via OCAL Global platforms using #OCAL2018 #TotalsportsxOCALGlobal #SportChangesLives. They can also obtain details on the OCAL website at
ocalglobal.com on how they can support the initiative.