For this summer I am planning on climbing on top of the world, to support a charity named Dig Deep Africa. Mt. Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania (East-Africa) and is the world’s highest freestanding mountain at 5895 m (19,341 feet) above sea level.
Dig Deep is a small charity which is found by two students six years ago and helps communities in Kenya to drill wells, harvest rainwater and access sanitation and renewable energy. The charity provides wells and technologies to help those people whom day to day life can be a struggle.
Ndanai Township School caters for 243 primary school aged children with a number of them as boarders. They have been relying on water from a dam that is bacterially tested to contain e-coli and during this time of year the dam is covered in algae. This water is causing the students and staff to experience a range of symptoms including stomach cramps, vomiting, nausea, diarrhoea, fever, sore throat, headaches and muscle and joint pains.
This month Dig Deep worked together with the Ndanai Water Committee to make a direct connection from the solar powered borehole project to tap stands within the grounds of Ndanai Township Primary School. Every month the school will pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the borehole project based on their consumption, and will testing the quality of their water supply to be sure that the health of their learners will no longer be impaired by the water they drink. Dig Deep just finished the project at Rotik school in Ndanai which cost £ 6,000. Check out the video below.
Dig Deep is just about to invest £60,000 in ten schools in the area.
Charity work for Tanzania / Kenya: I volunteered to fundraise £1990, which means half of it will go towards the charity and half of it will cover the costs of the trip. On top of that I will be paying for my own flight. Option two would have been to fundraise £3000. The division of this target is also 50:50, but this time the costs for the flight will be included. Disadvantage of that is, you have to fly on set dates. I prefer to fly a little earlier and leave a little later, so I can get the most out of the experience. After all I am not every day in Africa climbing mountains and hanging out with zebras, elephants and giraffes.
I really wanted to go and visit one of their ongoing projects and got a little upset with the fact that this seems to be unsuitable. James Haughton, the manager of Dig Deep explains why: “The visiting projects one is interesting. By definition our projects are in very rural areas. Sometimes up to ten hours off road where buses cannot go. If it were to rain the buses can get stuck for days. Secondly, if you were to visit the community would have to welcome you according to their tradition of hospitality. This means they would prepare a very lavish meal and go to a great deal of expense. There is no way that we can stop this as it is their culture. It wouldn’t be fair to take from them something that they cannot afford to give. Thirdly, we worry that they would feel like a tourist attraction. They have a right to dignity and quiet existence. I do think it would make a difference to our fundraisers motivation but that is not more important than our beneficiaries. We don’t stop people going themeselves to look and can help with travel advice”.
About 330 people from 20 different universities will climb Kilimanjaro this year. It is estimated that around 3000 students go in a year. Around 90 per cent hit the top and about 85 per cent hit their fundraising target. Most people drop out due to jobs or internships.
If you sign up for a challenge, you have to pay a registration fee of £300 to the company who takes care about the organisational part of the trips. Different challenges are being offered.
Tanzania was the first nation in Africa to gain independence from colonial powers. Before independence in 1959, soon-to-be President Julius Nyerere said:
We, the people of Tanzania, would like to light a candle and put it on the top of Mount Kilimanjaro which would shine beyond our borders giving hope where there was despair, love where there was hate, and dignity where before there was only humiliation.
Today, the summit is called Uhuru Peak; which is the Swahili word for freedom.
My personal fundraiser has finally finished but you can support Dig Deeps project throughout the hole year of course. https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/digdeep