Why did you climb Kilimanjaro?
This is a question many climbers may be asked in the next few weeks. It was gruelling and the climb tested our physical and emotional limits. Why did we do it?
There may be many reasons, but for everyone, part of the reason will certainly be the charities we raised money for. All climbers were expected to raise $5000.00 for a selected charity. Teams of climbers worked together on the featured charities. In my case, I raised money for Rec Link – a group that opens up recreational opportunities for kids and families in Ottawa inner city neighbourhoods.
Another one of the charities is SOS Children’s Villages, an international organization that works for children in 134 countries around the world. The children SOS works with are at risk due to the loss of parental care. In some cases, these children live in community with a house ‘mother’ who cares for children on a daily basis until they move on to other communities. SOS provides health care, education and a family-centered base for the development of the child.
We had the unique opportunity to visit a SOS community in Arusha once our climb was completed.
This was an important visit. It is rare that climbers get a chance to see what their money does and how their selected charity works. We do this work in the belief that all of our efforts will pay off and that the charity will be able to do a little more good work because of our efforts.
It really brings all this home when we actually get an opportunity to visit one of the projects that is associated with a Dream Mountain charity. I don’t think it matters a great deal where we visit or who we see. We all could have visited some of the neighbourhoods served by Rec Link and we would have heard similar stories.
The important thing to remember is this is why we climbed. It wasn’t for us, it was for others who we had the privilege to support through our fundraising efforts. Our greatest success came before we ever touched ground in Tanzania.
We achieved something for people who we will never know. We worked as a good team and we raised over $200,000.
This is what counts and this is why we climbed.