Trek4Mandela climbers are ready to summit the highest peak in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro, on July 13.
Sibusiso Vilane, adventurer, mountaineer, and 2021 Trek4Mandela expedition leader says now more than ever it is important for the Trek4Mandela expedition to continue.
"Our social challenges like sanitation for underprivileged girls are still here, so it is important that we go to climb Kilimanjaro during the month of July as we have done in the past 8 years. The mountain is safe, and we are using a less crowded route too.
“Covid-19 has become a part of our lives, the challenges we had before are still there. Therefore, it is critically important for us not to use Covid-19 as an excuse not to go climb mountains.
“People have just come back from climbing and safely submitting Mount Everest and K2. Lots of people have been climbing Kilimanjaro even last year and throughout the Covid-19 period. "
Every year since 2011, on Mandela Day the Imbumba Foundation has been taking a team to Tanzania to trek Kilimanjaro. All this in support of the Trek4Mandela initiative.
The summit has a huge objective in mind – to raise funds for the Caring4Girls programme that empowers young girls and affords them access to healthy sanitary products under the Caring4girls initiative by Imbumba foundation.
Due to Covid-19 and lockdown restrictions, the 2020 Mount Kilimanjaro expedition was cancelled, but now the climbers are more determined to reach greater heights.
This has become even more paramount now as we try to overcome the hurdles that Covid-19 has thrown and the destitute have been the hardest hit.
Former public protector, Professor Thuli Madonsela, advocate for the Imbumba Foundations Trek4Mandela and Caring4Girls initiatives, successfully summited Kilimanjaro in 2019 as a tribute towards women’s day under the Trek4Mandela.
She mentioned that she has unfinished business with the mountain and will thus be climbing again this year.
“I’m going back to summit Kilimanjaro under the Trek4Mandela Caring4Girls expedition to raise funds to end period poverty for girls in honour of Nelson Mandela’s birthday and explanatory ubuntu reflected in selfless service to humanity and my quest is also unfinished personal business with Kilimanjaro and my quest to rally all around an all-hands-on-deck collaboration to accelerate progress on social justice for all with no one left behind.”
The Imbumba Foundation, which has been the custodian for Mandela Day for the past eight years has, through the Caring4Girls Programme, been able to provide over 1 million girls with sanitary protection since 2012, bridging the gap of the “period poverty”
Richard Mabaso, chief executive of the Imbumba Foundation, social entrepreneur and humanitarian wishes the climbers well.
He says: "the mountain will not be easy but we believe that climbers are more than capable to stand tall on Mount Kilimanjaro on July, 18th to celebrate the Living Legacy of Madiba."