Andrew – Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in aid of ACE

Sometime over the end of year break I started thinking about my plans for 2019.  I can’t quite remember when, but at some point I started thinking about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.  There’s plenty to put you off it (if you want a really blunt view do a web search for The Guardian’s article on it !), but I couldn’t quite get it out of my mind.  I got to the point of concluding, if I didn’t do it, I’d think “what if ?”, so found myself booking an 8 day climb on the Lemosho route up Africa’s highest mountain on 10th March.  Its pretty daunting at 17,000 plus feet, half the oxygen of normal and a temperature range of 37c at the bottom down to -10c at the top, but it sure to be an experience !  To emphasise I am not some “Bear Gryllis” type in disguise, I’m a 51 year old whose worked in Financial Services all my life, travelling around the world, but climbing on a plane is not quite the same as this !

After booking the trip, I started to think about raising some money for charity with it.  My work takes me across Africa (writing this while en route to Lagos, Nigeria), and I knew I wanted to give something back to the continent.  Of course, one of Africa’s biggest challenges is the continuation of Poverty and my belief is the best long term way out of this is education.  So my search began for a charity to support with the criteria of Africa, children & education.  I also didn’t want it to be a big charity where your money can get lost in admin.  And then I came across ACE and all they had achieved at Arise Community School !

I stand in awe at what those involved in ACE have achieved to date.  Starting a school from scratch to getting to 363 pupils receiving education is a really powerful achievement. But of course the pressure to continue and make the school as sustainable as possible remain.  Which is why I decided to support the charity as my sole fundraising venture for my climb. If I can raise £1,500 it will be enough to add to the school with a fully fledged football pitch. If I can raise £3,000, it’s enough to pay for the final classroom to be equipped with all the necessary furniture needed to hold classes there.  I somehow guess the kids will vote for the football pitch !

Either though are really great things to raise funds for.  And to emphasise, all of any donations will go directly to the initiatives above.

Any support you can give would be very gratefully received !

https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/andrewwalden2

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