Last month, after almost a year of fundraising and organisation, nine Queen Mary students travelled to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest freestanding peak in the world
Over the past year, members of the Queen Mary World Development Society organised and participated in a number of fundraising efforts including bake sales, film nights and even a skydive. The team donated over £15,000 to DigDeep, a non-profit organisation which provides clean water to rural communities in Kenya.
DigDeep is a grassroots organisation, established in 2007 to help communities in East Africa gain access to sustainable water supplies, sanitation and renewable energy sources. Since its founding, the charity has expanded through its volunteers partnerships with local governments and other charities, as well as through student fundraising projects such as the ‘Climb for Clean Water’, in which Queen Mary is one of only 24 universities across the UK to be involved.
The students succeeded in completing the challenging journey along the Machame route to the peak of Kilimanjaro at 5,895 metres in 4 days before descending for 2 days along the Mweka route. Though some members of the group claim they found the climb, which involved between 6 and 18 hours of walking a day, to be physically and at times emotionally exhausting, all made it to the final base camp and the majority of the team reached the Uhuru Peak.
Sufyian Osman who initiated the project and led the team, told us that he “found the climb an incredible experience”, adding that “it really was a once in a lifetime opportunity with great people and for a cause I genuinely care about”. He, along with the others involved in the climb, claimed that their motivation for participating in the climb stemmed from “a passionate belief that clean water is a human right to which all individuals should be entitled”. They hope that through their fundraising efforts with DigDeep they helped to make a small contribution towards the realisation of that goal, and that other Queen Mary students will follow suit.