Readers can now contact Jon direct at roof of africa on wheels@cableinet.co.uk

Project '98.

To the Roof of Africa on wheels.

HOME and BACK DOWN TO EARTH!

Having now arrived home and having had 'some' time to reflect back I feel that my recent venture, called Project '98 'The roof of Africa on wheels' was, in all, a total success. A success, I feel I must add, which could not have been achieved without the full support of my wife, family, and the support team, headed by Derek Groves, all for whom I have the greatest of respect.

I would also like, at this point, to thank all of the sponsors both material and financial and whether large or small for their part in the success of the project and their faith in me. Furthermore I would like to thank Dave Lynch and VisualEyes for enabling us to share the project with thousands around the world through the Bluedome web site and the readers of those pages who had sent us goodwill messages.

Even though I was, at the time, 'peeved' at having not made the summit, this being due more to the fact that I know we could have done it with just one extra day, a bit more financial backing and a lot less bureaucracy! than any other reason, I can now appreciate the goals we did really achieve.

All of the values, aims and objectives that I had conceived, along with Derek Groves, some 18 months ago in our promotional booklet have been carried out, which itself is an achievement.

Although, due to the financial and time constraints and bureaucracy, I did not quite reach the 'summit'of Mt. Kilimanjaro, I not only created a 'world first' by getting higher on a mountain, in a wheelchair, than anyone has been before, some 16,000 + ft, but we also achieved the following: -
Awareness of what people with disabilities can achieve, even more so of peoples abilities not disabilities! This was achieved not only through world-wide BBC Television & Radio but also widespread press articles and full time coverage given on the bluedome internet site. It will be followed by a video, already accepted for an international symposium being held in Spain next year, and a book. We have just been told that the BBC is considering doing a longer feature on the expedition.

Through cultural exchange within the host country we supplied our coaching and educational expertise and ëgiftedí educational and sporting equipment to areas of greatest need, after which we have now taken on three projects that we hope to help with further resources. These are the 'street kids' project, the School for the Blind and the K.C.M.C. hospital. Their needs are basic and would make good use of materials that are possibly discarded over here due to advancement of technology etc. We would like to ask anyone who might feel able to offer help with resources like Wheelchairs, Braille Typewriters or basic educational materials to contact us through my e-mail address, which you will find in the diary pages.

The only thing that Project '98 has left to do now is the ultimate task of fundraising. We already have several fundraising events planned around the country between now and July, but we are still seeking help from companies that may be willing to help in one or more ways.
These are primarily to make a donation towards our chosen charity, the British Wheelchair Sports Foundation in celebration of their 50th anniversary. Cheques should be made payable to Project '98 and all the monies raised will go into a designated fund to help the young or newly disabled get 'back into life' through sport.

Alternatively to consider the sponsorship of either a new attempt to 'top' Kilimanjaro, which we now know, is achievable and we are also looking for potential sponsors for my next big 'challenge', which is already being provisionally planned for the year 2000.