Hello, my name is Levi Wheeler-Rose and I am six years old.
On 5th and 6th April I completed a Sponsored Walk of 8 miles on Mount Toubkal in the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco to raise money for shuktara , a charity that provides homes for disabled children and young adults in Kolkata (Calcutta), India. Mt Toubkal is 4,167m high, the highest mountain in north Africa.
In 2015 my grandad, Steven, started raising funds to help Guria Thakur, a disabled girl found abandoned on the streets of Kolkata. Guria is cared for by shuktara. In 2016 my grandad and his partner Tracy went to India to visit Guria and see how the boys and girls living in the two homes run by shuktara were being cared for. My mum, Christina, showed me pictures of Guria and some of the other children and I decided that I wanted to do something to help. My mum suggested a sponsored walk.
My mum, grandad and Tracy helped me plan the walk. My grandad and Tracy have climbed all the way to the top of Mt Toubkal; on my walk I climbed to 2350m (1000 metres higher than the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis), camped overnight and walked down in the morning.
Levi’s grandad Steven says:
Hundreds of children, disabled and non-disabled are abandoned in Kolkata every year because their families can no longer cope; others are fleeing abuse.
Guria is a lively, happy, cheeky child with an engaging smile and like all children loves and responds to human warmth and kindness. She has cerebral palsy and significant limb deformity. She cannot walk and wears splints some of the time; nor does she speak although she is a good communicator.
Guria lives with seven other disabled girls in a house that has been purchased by shuktara. The girl’s ages range from about ten to eighteen although since they were each found abandoned no one knows exactly how old any of the girls are. Guria is about twelve.
The care provided by shuktara is by UK standards basic, but the children are off the streets, safe and happy. In more than 40 years of working with disabled people I have never been so impressed with the levels of dedication and commitment we witnessed. Shuktara manage to achieve so much with so little and are literally saving children’s lives.
Please support Levi’s efforts to help these disabled and disadvantaged children.