This week we launched our main challenge for 2011 – Climb Kili.
I love challenges – taking part in them, seeing the buzz the participants get from them, and putting the money they raise to good use.
I did my first overseas challenge back in 2004 when I went to China with a fantastic group of people and we spent 10 days trekking along sections of the Great Wall. It was a rollercoaster.
The tough first day when we struggled with jet lag before the breathtaking first sight of the Great Wall…
The day we slipped and slid our way through torrential rain for 8 hours…
Getting sick and being told by the doctor that ‘under no circumstances’ was I to walk the next day, and the feeling of absolute devastation watching the team leave…
The elation 2 days later standing on top of the highest point – the Heavenly Ladder, I get goosebumps just writing about it.
Some of the people I trekked with have become great friends – we share a bond that can only be forged by shared adversity…
Then chatting to the climbers who have taken part in our Climb Kili challenges over the past 3 years. The camaraderie, the sense of accomplishment, the common bond that I recognise from my own experience.
If all that wasn’t enough, there’s the difference that the funding makes.
Back in 2007 when we ran our first challenge we were still in the early stages of building Bridge2Aid. We had done well in establishing both the Dental Volunteer Programme and Hope Dental Centre, and had made real progress at Bukumbi, but we needed resources.
That first challenge and the 32 amazing people that took part raised over £70,000. Those funds formed the basis of where we are as a charity today
- providing access to emergency dentistry for almost half a million people this year
- putting kids from Bukumbi through school and vocational education
- transforming the physical environment at Bukumbi
- changing hearts and minds through our amazing Community Development team’s presence week in week out.
For charities like Bridge2Aid funds like that only really come from challenges. That’s why, if you’re thinking about Climb Kili, I want to encourage you join us.
From my own experience, and from the experience of our climbers, you won’t regret it.
Yes, it will be tough.
Yes you will have to work hard to raise the funds.
But the rewards will last a lifetime. For you. For the people that we work with in Tanzania.