Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro for Down Syndrome

Six Nigerian professionals are embarking on a 6-day hike to the peak of Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain from August 16 to 23, 2014 as part of a fundraising drive for the Lagos based Down Syndrome Foundation. The professionals are drawn from the KPMG, Seven Energy, Generation Enterprise, and Acumen Fund amongst others. The Charity climb tagged, Climb for Down syndrome, is the brainchild of Inspired by Charity, a social enterprise, and it is scheduled to take place in Tanzania. The hiking party hopes to use the climb to raise awareness about Down syndrome and help raise N10, 000,000 for the Down Syndrome Foundation, DSF. DSF is a renowned charity that works to provide leadership, support and advocacy in all areas of concern as it relates to persons with Down syndrome in Nigeria.

Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest freestanding Mountain at 5,895m high, attracts over 40,000 people every year who seek to climb the mountain. Of the seven summits, it is the easiest to climb, requiring no ropes, or special mountaineering gears or previous climbing experience. The Climb for Down Syndrome Party will be climbing through the Machame route, one of the seven routes to Uhuru summit. The choice of the route according to Dotun Eyinade, the convener, is to ensure that everyone adapts quickly and to increase the chances of success. “Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro remains a physical and mental challenge and for many of us it will be one of the most physically exacting things we would do in our youth,” he said.

Inspired by Charity views the experience as more than an adventure but a purposeful intervention in support of the Down Syndrome Foundation, as it executes its charitable mandate in providing critical succor to a vulnerable community. Eyinade noted that, “The team would leverage the media, especially new media platforms to raise awareness about Down Syndrome and the Foundation.

As socially minded professionals, we consider the hike a transformational experience, one which requires courage, grit and determination; we are excited about the prospect of using the hike to fundraise for Down Syndrome foundation and help to place Down Syndrome on the front burners of public discourse again.” Rose Mordi, President, Down Syndrome Foundation said, “This is a worthy and unique concept which I believe must be the first of its kind in our country. We would love to thank the team for believing in our cause and finding our Foundation worthy to benefit from this unique event.”

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