Young activists from the non profit organization called Enabling Disability Education Nationally (EDEN) put their money where their mouth is embarking on a walk from Durban to Capetown to raise funds for disabled youth. 

The organisation’s co-founders, Omphile Mangwagape, Dennis Tolo and Samuel Modise set out from Essenwood in Durban on 15 June with hopes to raise funds towards education for the disabled this youth month. The trio is expected to reach Cape Town this Friday, after walking 1 643 kilometers.

Modise said the charity campaign, Walk For Youth Disability Education (#Walk4YDE19), aims at raising investment for inclusive and equitable quality education that promotes lifelong learning opportunities for youth with disabilities in South Africa. 

“The biggest challenge facing South African people with disabilities is limited access to education followed by unemployment and then access to appropriate healthcare. Through this walk, we seek to encourage hope for people living with mental and physical challenges by helping them gain access to education,” he said.

In 2017 the group walked 600km from Tshwane to Durban over 16 days and collected over R170 000 in cash and resources. A large portion of the proceeds was donated to the Transoranje School for the Deaf in Tshwane and the Fanang Diatla Centre for the Disabled in Temba. 

This year’s walk is the continuation of the previous one and the organisers are hoping for an excellent turn out. 

“We are looking to enable access to quality education for over 1000 young people with varying degrees of disabilities from different parts of South Africa. The funds will be distributed via our various beneficiaries and collaborators,” said Modise.

According to Mangwagape, who has a mild cognitive impairment, young people with disabilities are often excluded from the mainstream society due to their limited access to the physical environment including public transportation, education and other facilities. 

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“For some of us even completing a standard academic schedule is a struggle, physically, financially and, in some cases, mentally. So the walk is a campaign not only to raise funds but also a tool to create awareness of the challenges facing young people with disabilities,” he added.

To make a donation to the initiative through crowdfunding head to https://www.thundafund.com:443/project/edenationally.