A Swim From Big Bay Beach to Robben Island for Charity – We Are The World Blogfest #WATWB

The aim of We Are The World Blogfest is to shine a little light on any darkness in the world or in ourselves, by sharing uplifting stories. The blogfest seeks to promote positive news. There are many cases of love and light out there, stories that show compassion and the resilience of the human spirit. Sharing these stories increases our awareness of hope in our increasingly dark world. This gathering takes place once a month.
Our special lead co-hosts for this month are: Shilpa Garg, Simon Falk, Mary Giese, Dan Antion and myself!

 Gabriel Schreiber and Arafat Gatabazi joined hundreds of swimmers from across the world in the Freedom Day Swim. The swim starts off at Big Bay Beach towards Robben Island. The swim is 7.5 km across the chilly Atlantic Ocean.

When Arafat came to South Africa 5-years ago as a refugee, he started swimming to Robben Island. He has since done it many times which was the reason, Gabriel approached him for coaching.

The pair trained hard to take part in the swim but Gabriel didn’t want to just swim it. He wanted to do it for a charity close to his heart.

Gabriel became inspired by Chaeli Mycroft’s challenge for people to bet she couldn’t ride a horse for 5 days. Chaeli is an ability activist with Cerebral Palsy who raises funds for disabled children from disadvantaged communities. The funds help the children take part in activities they would usually not be able to enjoy.

Gabriel and Arafat finished the swim with a time of 2 hours and 34 minutes, making Gabriel the second youngest person to complete the swim. They called their efforts the ‘Strokes for Spokes’ challenge. The funds they raised will go to the Chaeli Campaign’s Sport & Recreation Club.

“I’m doing this swim to raise awareness around children who are much less fortunate than me. I’m lucky to have a body that can do almost anything, and I want to remind people of those who can’t move freely like most of us. Chaeli has inspired me by showing that disability can be turned into ability.” – Gabriel Schreiber, The #StrokesForSpokes Challenge

If you get a chance, please click on the link and read Chaeli Mycroft’s AMAZING CHALLENGE!

Here’s the 45 seconds video…

If you like this initiative please help spread the word on social media via the hashtag #WATWB.

Looking for some uplifting stories? Want to be a part of this wonderful initiative?

You can SIGN UP for WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST on the linky list below:


  1. Emily Bloomquist on April 27, 2018 at 6:24 am

    7.5 km is a long distance to swim. It must feel so much longer in cold waters. Good job by them to do it for this wonderful charity! Thanks, Michelle, for the great story.

  2. Dan Antion on April 27, 2018 at 11:17 am

    Wow – That’s a long swim in a cold ocean. I am always amazed that people can complete events like this and impressed when they do it for the benefit of those less fortunate. Great story to share!

  3. L. Diane Wolfe on April 27, 2018 at 11:59 am

    That’s a long swim. It’s wonderful how they took something they were already doing and turned into something that would benefit others. And all because someone else inspired them to do so. Good deeds are catching.

  4. p. j. lazos on April 27, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    Putting your exercise where your heart is!

  5. Hilary on April 27, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    Hi Michelle – that’s a horrible channel to swim across – all kinds of currents, let alone freezing cold (very cold!) water … congratulations to them and what a great charity to find out about … Strokes for Spokes challenge – amazing … thanks for letting us know a bit more that’s happening SA – cheers Hilary

  6. Deborah Weber on April 27, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    What an inspiring story, and kudos to Gabriel and Arafat for dedicating their hard work support such a worthy cause.

    Thanks for sharing this, and for co-hosting this month.

  7. Lynda Dietz on April 28, 2018 at 4:14 am

    That sounds like a challenge even if the water temperature were accommodating! How sweet that they’d do it to benefit others.

  8. susan scott on April 28, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    Chaeli is beautiful! That swim in the cold cold waters of the Atlantic is also beautiful. What an amazing initiative! Thanks Michelle!

  9. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor on April 28, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    That sounds like a very long swim in a cold ocean. A very inspiring story.

  10. Natalie Aguirre on April 29, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    That’s a long swim, especially in cold water. Thanks for sharing the inspiring story.


  11. DGKaye on April 30, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    Thanks for this beautiful share Michelle. It’s truly inspiring when leaders step up to the plate to raise funds and inspiration for the so many who are unable to. God bless. 🙂 <3

  12. Sherry Ellis on April 30, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    That’s an extremely difficult swim – long, cold, and I’m sure, rough. What an inspirational story!

  13. Kalpana on May 1, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    What a lovely addition to the WATWB – to swim 7.5 km in the Atlantic can’t be easy and the cause they chose to swim for is a worthy one.

  14. Norah Colvin on May 2, 2018 at 7:25 am

    What an inspiring story of selflessly giving to others. Thank you for sharing, Michelle.

  15. Deborah Drucker on May 5, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    I hope they raise tons of money for this worthwhile cause. 🙂

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