Last week, 26 intrepid UNICEF UK fundraisers completed a trek up Kilimanjaro for the world’s children. Alyrene Rosser from our fundraising team reports on their African adventure.
© UNICEF/2012/Alyrene Rosser
We are all exhausted but incredibly proud of challenging ourselves for children. And what a challenge it was; from the heat of the African sunshine to sub-zero temperatures the team conquered the mountain and have raised over £100,000 to support children throughout the world.
The past eight days have been some of the most challenging of my life, but definitely some of the most rewarding. Climbing 5,895 meters is an extreme challenge but the wonderful Team UNICEF took each day their stride in preparation for the summit. United by raising money for children we worked together to fulfil lifelong dreams of standing on the Roof of Africa.
The trek took us from the African to sub-zero temperatures © UNICEF/2012/Alyrene Rosser
There were times when we didn’t think it would be possible as we meandered around the mountain, each day climbing higher to acclimatise ourselves to the altitude. Using every ounce of physical and mental strength the majority of the group made it to the top. For some the effects of the altitude were too severe to summit but everyone who attempted is a hero for the children we're supporting.
The group reach the summit! © UNICEF/2012/Alyrene Rosser
We were lucky enough to meet some of the children UNICEF supports in Tanzania and see examples of how the funds raised can support children throughout the world.
At Olmorog Vety Primary School we saw how, with UNICEF’s support, the children now have access to clean water, hand washing facilities and decent toilets. Such a simple everyday activity like hand washing is taken for granted in the UK but 92 per cent of schools in Tanzania lack functional hand washing facilities. Ahimidiwe, pictured below, proudly showed off their new and simple tippy taps. These, combined with hygiene education, can be directly responsible for saving the lives of children who otherwise could die from such an easily preventable disease as diarrhoea.
Tippy taps for handwashing © UNICEF/2012/Alyrene Rosser
The trekkers also enjoyed playing games with the children such as football, the sack race and the lesser known; ‘catch the chicken’ game – which was lots of fun!
The trekkers compete in a sack race with local children © UNICEF/2012/Alyrene Rosser
UNICEF Tanzania has recently piloted a project to give young people a voice. We visited The Young Reporters Network where children from the Moshi region have the opportunity to learn and practice journalist skills, giving them the confidence to discuss difficult issues such as HIV and AIDS, teen pregnancy and disabilities. We were all incredibly impressed with the children’s knowledge and confidence as they interviewed some of the team for their next radio programme.
Visiting these projects assisted in the team’s motivation to climb the mountain and to continue fundraising for the world’s children on their return home.
Thank you to everyone involved and to everyone who has supported us to fulfil our dreams and transform children’s lives.
To find out more about fundraising for UNICEF visit our fundraising pages or call 0844 801 2414.
Alyrene Rosser is Fundraising Events Manager at UNICEF UK.
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