Published in Muslim Views January 2014
Fadia Abrahams, Hashim Nacerodien & Altaf Bux
We’ve all read tales of faraway lands, distant cultures and awe-inspiring adventures. In December 2013 world renowned charity Muslim Hands organized its 5th annual fundraising adventure to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in support of orphan children in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Sponsored trekkers from the UK, South Africa and Luxembourg combined the ten day challenge of climbing the highest free standing mountain in the world whilst raising funds to help provide good quality, accessible education for the orphans of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Amongst the 19 brave volunteers who embarked on this experience of a lifetime were Hashim Nacerodien, Altaf Bux and Dawood Moolla. They’ve shared excerpts of their travel journals with us:
“A total of 19 hikers saw fit to undertake the challenge. 14 are from the UK, 2 from Luxemburg and 3 from South Africa. We were divided into 3 groups. The challenge took place over 5 days.
The hike began on the 7th of December 2013 and we were all very eager to leave the hotel. The porters and guides then sang the traditional Kilimanjaro song before we embarked on the trek. We ventured out to Mandura Hut in just over 6 hours a distance of 12km.”
“On our second day of the challenge the weather changed drastically, first we had sunshine and then we were shrouded in heavy mist and then we experienced rain once again. We were already starting to feel the effects of the high altitude after the 15km walk to Horombo Hut which took over 7 hours to complete.
“On our third day we made our way to Zebra Rock a 6km walk taking us 4 hours to complete. A half an hour into the walk rain pelted down to such an extent that the guide made the decision to cancel it.
“On day four we did a 15.5km trek through a very cold alpine forest taking more than 7 hours to complete. Heavy rain, hail and snow continued to fall. We all looked a bit dejected but we reminded ourselves of our cause. At this point we were requested to get ready for the final descent; visibility was extremely poor we could only see as far as our feet. There were 8 hikers remaining as others became ill.
“On day five we completed our trek; we were extremely happy. On our final day we visited the Muslim Hands project at Chekereni and gained a better understanding of the excellent work being done by Muslim Hands.”
Funds raised will go towards helping children in Sub-Saharan Africa
Muslim Hands runs purpose-built schools throughout Sudan, Niger, Mali, Senegal, Mauritania and Gambia. In total, there are 11 schools across these countries which support over 4,420 impoverished children.
All the facilities offered to the children are free and as well as having their school fees covered, children are given textbooks, exercise books, stationary and uniforms. Sponsored orphans are provided with a nutritional meal at school, medical checkups and transportation if applicable.
These schools need constant and ongoing maintenance. To provide the very best standard of teaching and quality of facilities they require ongoing and additional support.
That is why all funds raised will go towards providing children’s education in Sub-Saharan Africa, insha’Allah:
- Children’s nutritional needs for the entire school year
- Hiring and training enthusiastic and inspiring teachers
- Providing a free library and resource center (with computer labs) so children are able to use the facilities for free
- Modern essential study trips so children can consolidate their learning within class
- Purchase of audio visual aids and urgent classroom equipment so children can have an optimal learning environment
- Replenishing the schools shortfall to ensure the long-term sustainability and the orphan’s education which depends on it
Eye witness accounts
“It was certainly a life changing experience. We experienced some of the worst weather conditions Kilimanjaro has seen in years. Torrential rain, snow and hailstorms descended upon us. I also witnessed the poverty in Tanzania. This cause for the orphans of Sub-Saharan Africa was well worth it.” Altaf Bux (Johannesburg)
The hike was not only a test of endurance but a test of self-belief, patience and the ability to be a team player, most of all it was a test our belief in the Almighty Allah. Hashim Nacerodien (Cape Town)
Muslim Hands would like to thank our supporters and our participants for their generous contributions. We thank Almighty Allah for granting our MH team and our participants the strength to take up such a great challenge in aid of the orphans of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Join Muslim Hands in a 10 day trek along the Great Wall of China.
See this great feat of human achievement and witness some of China’s vibrant sights sound and Islamic heritage for yourself during this Spring-time trek with Muslim Hands.
Raising money for the orphans of Sub-Saharan Africa will be a cause that will keep you going through every exhilarating and painful footstep!
Contact Muslim Hands today on: 021 6336413 (CT) or visit: muslimhands.org.za facebook:muslimhandsSA Twitter: muslimhandsSA