In January 2008, I found myself on a mountain climbing in the pouring rain for days. I was tackling the Inca Trail on route to visit Machu Picchu. I figured, if I was going to visit this ancient city, what better way than taking the path the Incas had laid and used before me. I clearly didn’t know what I had signed myself up for. I had just graduated University the year before and wanted to get out of Toronto to see if I could figure out the answer to “what now?” I was traveling solo for the first time and I was looking for an adventure! Those 4 and half days on the trail were strenuous and excruciating. But man was it exhilarating.
I came off that mountain exhausted but I already had my sights set on the next challenge. Mount Kilimanjaro.
After Peru, travel started to become a prominent part of my life including living abroad and travelling extensively. But climbing Kilimanjaro would pop into the forefront from time to time. I started seriously thinking about making the trek to coincide with my 30th birthday, but a job I had at the time wouldn’t allow for time off at that point in the year. So to the back burner it went again.
In 3 weeks, I’m going to climb Kilimanjaro! (cue the jumps for joy and pangs of anxiety)
Yes, I’m finally going to tackle that mountain! But this experience is taking on a much more meaningful purpose. I’m joining forces with World Vision Canada, joining their celebrity ambassador program, to raise money and bring awareness to their No Child For Sale campaign. My fellow ambassadors include Rick Campanelli, host of Entertainment Tonight Canada, Cheryl Bernard, 2010 Olympic Silver Medalist in women’s curling, and JD Scott, host on HGTV.
Mt Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa at 5,895m or 18,000+ ft! There are a number of routes to reach the peak. We’ll be taking on the Lemosho route along the western side of the mountain and it’s expected to take 8 days to summit and return.
No Child For Sale
It is estimated that 116 million children worldwide are sold or trafficked into dirty, dangerous, and degrading jobs working in plantations, sweatshops, brothels, and mines. World Vision is working to not only raise awareness of child slavery but to raise money for the Women and Girls in Crisis Fund. Money goes towards providing education, skills training, counseling, and health care to women and girls facing domestic abuse, forced marriage and many other forms of exploitation.
The overall goal is to raise $150,000 and we need your help to achieve that! World Vision Canada has just launched their latest IndieGoGo campaign where you can contribute to the cause. There are perks for various levels of donations, but no amount is too small.
Where does your money go?
For every dollar:
- 80.9 cents goes towards programs that help women and girls in crisis
- 13.9 cents goes towards raising more funds to reach more women and girls in crisis
- 5.2 cents goes towards administration costs.
I’m very honoured to have been asked to participate in this climb with World Vision. Their tireless efforts have been dedicated to helping children and families that live below the poverty line and to help them to live full and sustainable lives.
The day before the climb we will be visiting one of the areas where World Vision is currently working. It will be important to see their work and efforts in person and how contributions are making a positive impact in the community. I’ll be video-documenting the entire experience (climb included!) so I can share with you first hand the efforts of the organization.
As you can imagine, there’s a lot to prep for a trip like this, especially for the actual climb. I’ll be sharing another post next week about how I’m prepping and what’s required to tackle Kilimanjaro. So stay tuned for that!
For now, please donate and follow this adventure on social media! The official hashtag for the climb is #kiliclimb4kids.
I’ll also be using #SYSkili for everything I share, so make sure to follow along there too.
Let the count down begin!