By Melanie Sauer
A group of determined Capetonians will be climbing the highest peak in Africa to help raise funds to enhance the livelihoods of children in Sub-Saharan Africa. The group, known as Kilimanjaro-SA-2017, is undertaking an intense programme as they prepare to climb Mount Kilamanjaro in Tanzania, a notoriously challenging hike.
“A lot of us do our own individual training sessions during the week,” says Faghri Amardien, spokesperson for the group.
“Then we’ve also got our hikes that we do every Sunday.”
Amardien began the journey to Kilimanjaro a year ago, with his 61-year old retired mother.
“It has been her dream for a very long time. She asked me 5-6 years ago,” he says.
“Now (her) being retired, I couldn’t avoid it this time”
As Amardien and his mother began training, they gained support from friends, family and community members. Today the group has grown to approximately twenty people, all motivated to help charity organisation, Muslim Hands raise funds for children’s education and care in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“I don’t think it’s as much as a want, but as a need, for the children of Sub-Saharan Africa, mostly orphans, who really need our assistance,” says Amardien.
Although Kilimanjaro is not considered ‘technically-challenging’, the high elevation and low temperature can turn it into a demanding and sometimes dangerous hike. It is not uncommon for even the most experienced trekkers to experience altitude sickness.
“It’s (about) reaching your apex mentally and physically and really going for it, in terms of spirit and athleticism…and really going the distance for our various orphans and children in Sub-Saharan Africa,” says Amardien.
The team has also planned a schedule of fundraising events, kicking off next month with a ‘24-hour Spinathon’. Partnering with Cape Town Giants Cycling Club, Kilimanjaro-SA-2017, will invite the public to jump on a bike and cycle for half hour intervals throughout the 24 hours. The event will be held at the South Peninsula High School Hall on May 19th. Amardien himself will be there for the entire 24 hours.
As the team trains for their hike in August, they welcome all members of the community to join them for their “gruelling”, but “fun” hikes on the weekend.
Interested people should contact Kilimanjaro-SA-2017 via their Facebook and Instagram pages.
Help the team by donating: https://muslimhands.org.za/events/2017/kilimanjaro