The Big Autism Thing is #LargerThanLife
Did you know that 1 of 88 children fall into the Autism spectrum yet only 0.5% of them receive education tailored to meet their special needs?
Well I did not know this until I met a group of awesome volunteers and they are walking a trail blazing 2000 kilometres from the Skeleton Coast in Namibia to Cape Town to tell YOU about this fact.
The Big Autism Thing is not only an awareness campaign, but they have set themselves a target to raise One Million Rand for the Cornerstone Learning Centre and Ethan Education & Training Hub
and for this reason:
We say they are #LargerThanLife
Angus Moore, Hilda Cronje, Hilton and Janine Johnson, Cameron Moore, Chase Daddy, Wayne Rutherford and Gareth Moore are “The Big Autism Thing 2016” (http://www.bigautismthing.com/trail-blazers-2016)
Temperatures ranging from over 50 degrees in the day to below freezing at night, this awesome crew have put foot after foot to keep the momentum going and arrived in Cape Town on Saturday 5 November.
1. How did this initiative come about?
AUTISM IS GROWING PHENOMENON NOT ONLY IN SOUTH AFRICA BUT ON WORLD STAGE
2. Why is autism so significant in your lives, what made you choose wanting to bring awareness to autism?
THE BIG AUTISM THING WAS CREATED IN 2012 WITH A WALK FROM DURBAN TO CAPE TOWN AND AS A RESULT IT IS GAINING SUPPORT AND AWARENESS SINCE THEN FOR EXAMPLE 10 YEARS AGO AUTISM WAS DIAGNOSED AS 1 IN EVERY 10 000 AND TODAY IT IS 1 IN 54
3. How far along are you in your journey?
WE ARE IN LANGEBAAN CURRENTLY ONLY 140 KM OUTSIDE CAPE TOWN TO THE FINISH LINE IN BLOUBERG ON SATURDAY THE 5TH OF NOVEMBER AT 13H00 AT BLOUBERGRANT HIGH SCHOOL WHERE THEY WILL BE MET WITH OFFICIALS AND MEDIA
4. How are funds raised for the cause?
WE HAVE A WEBSITE (www.bigautismthing.com) WITH A DONATE BUTTON WHERE PUBLIC CAN DO DONATIONS AS WELL AS MONEY TINS AT VARIOUS SUPERMARKET STORES AROUND THE COUNTRY IN THE HOPE OF RAISING 1 000 000 FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM.
5. Where will you be arriving on the 5th?
BLOUBERGRANT HIGH SCHOOL AT 13h00
6. What challenges did you face in your walk from Namibia to Cape Town?
WE WERE CONSTANTLY FACED WITH THE HARDSHIPS OF THE TERRAIN EG EXTREME HEAT (±54 DEGREES) TO SUBZERO TEMPERATURES AT NIGHT. WE WERE FORCED TO PITCH TENTS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DESERT WITH THE FEAR OF WILD ANIMALS LIKE JACKAL, BROWN HYENA AND LEOPARD WHO ROAM THE DESERT PLAINS. THE ROADS WERE SO BAD THAT WE LOST CONTROL OF THE VEHICLE AND THE TRAILER ROLLER TWICE AND WAS BADLY DAMAGED BUT HOWEVER WE MANAGED TO CONTINUE OUR WALK.
7. What were the highlights of the journey?
THE PEOPLE OF NAMIBIA WERE FANTASTIC BY HELPING AND SUPPORTING US ALL THE WAY WITH A GENUINE INTEREST ABOUT AUTISM. ALSO CLIMBING DUNE 7 – ONE OF THE HIGHEST DUNES IN THE WORLD. THE TEAM WAS ALSO ENJOYED A RARE MOMENT GOING UP THESE DUNES WITH AN EXPERIENCED 4 X 4 LOCAL DRIVER. THE NAMIBIAN LANDSCAPES IS SO UNIQUE THAT IT IS DIFFICULT TO DESCRIBE, YOU GOT THE FEELING THAT YOU WENT BACK IN TIME AS THE FIRST HUMAN BEINGS EVER TO WALK THIS LAND (TRULY AMAZING).
8. Where do you think autism advocacy is in the South African context?
AUTISM IN SOUTH AFRICA IS LACKING BEHIND OTHER COUNTRIES THAT THEY GET NO SUPPORT FROM THE GOVERNMENT. THE BIG AUTISM THING IS ALL ABOUT GETTING THE WORD OUT THAT THERE IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM THAT HAS TO BE ADDRESSED BY GOVERNMENT AND BUSINESSES.
9. What did you eat during your walk?
TIN FOOD – TIN FOOD AND MORE TIN FOOD BUT ON OCCASIONS WE MADE POTJIE IN THE DESERT AND RARE TREATS WERE BILTONG
10. How long did it take?
FROM START TO FINISH – TWO MONTHS BUT THE IDEA STARTED A YEAR AGO
11. Who is all involved in the walk?
ANGUS MOORE – TOUR COORDINATOR, HILDA CRONJE, HILTON & JANINE JOHNSON, CAMERON MOORE, CHASE DADDY) WAYNE RUTHERFORD WAS OUR KEY PLAYER OF PLACING MONEY TINS OUT WHILST WE WERE ON THE ACTUAL WALK.