One hundred days from now I plan to be on my way to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. The mountain rises to a height of 19,340 ft above sea level, is the highest point in Africa, and the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, but it does not require mountaineering skills to climb it. It does require strength, perseverance, lots of help, and good fortune to reach the summit. Roughly 30% of climbers who attempt it do not make the peak for various reasons, the most common being altitude sickness.
High Hopes and Common Threads Project
Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is a personal goal, but it is also the focus of "High Hopes and Common Threads," a Bridges of Peace and Hope project to help the children and teachers of Mukwashi School in Lusaka, Zambia. Students, teachers, and friends from around the world will be symbolically joining in the climb by sharing their hopes, cares, and beliefs. These expressions are being submitted as words, art, and photos of peoples faces. The photos will be combined into a photo mosaic banner that we will carry with us to the summit of the mountain. Some groups are also engaging in optional fundraising activities to help the school. Our goal is to receive 1,934 photos. The signifigance of this number is that if you add a zero it is 19,340 the height of the mountain in feet. 19,340 is also the approximate cost in dollars to fund 4 grade levels (130-140 children) at the school for an entire year, including teacher's salaries and classroom materials. Stop and think about that for a few seconds! Our goals for the project are to;
- Reach the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro -- 19,340 ft above sea level
- Receive and share 1,934 photos and thoughts from children around the world
- Raise $19,340 to fund the education of approximately 130-140 children for an entire school year, including teachers salaries.
Video Producer Michael Donaghey of Scratch Empire in NYC plans to come on the trek and document the climb and the project. My daughter Maggie Farrell, who is currently teaching at the International School of Moshi in Tanzania, and our friend Riley Feehan, a young adventurer and humanitarian from Stormville, NY, will also be attempting the climb. Others are considering the trip and you are welcome to join us if you can.
If you can't come climb Kilimanjaro but would like to help us please click on the text on the photo above and you can make a donation. Every donation will be gratefully appreciated and help us achieve our high hopes and help Mukwashi School too.