Thursday, 26 May 2011

Getting the ball Rolling

A month or two ago, my younger brother Harune got talking about a charity trek to Kilimanjaro. Now there are two things to bear in mind here: a) I have never really been very good at raising any money for charity, I just find it odd going round asking people for money and b) I love walking and climbing, its a very big passion of mine, but I have NEVER climbed anything on the scale of Kilimanjaro. I mean, at 5,895 metres (19,341 ft) above sea level, that's seriously high altitude. At that level, your body starts getting starved of oxygen and your brain and lung cavities can fill up with fluids... YOU CAN DIE!!!! Aaagghhh!

Anyway, the trek will be between 5th and 15th September this year. We will fly out to Tanzania and the very next day, begin to trek up the mountain. Basically, it will take us 6 days of continuous climbing to get to the top and then a few days to get back down again! Yup... we camp out on the mountain in between!

But what was it all about anyway?
Well, as we all may know, Pakistan was stuck by pretty serious floods in 2010. The waters have now subsided and people are rebuilding their livelihoods. However, many lives were lost in the waters and many families perished. Many children have been orphaned by the floods and its these children that have reached out to me.

So, whats the fundraising for?
Well, Pakistan, is a great place if you have money and provisions; if you haven't, then it can be a very miserable and dangerous place to be. Minhaj Welfare Trust is one of the biggest charities that works within Pakistan. It carries out many humanitarian activities to provide a better standard of living for very poor people. Currently it is building a school to provide and educate orphans.

You see, like I said before, if you have means, Pakistan is an okay place to be, however orphans have none of this, and so if there is no one to care for them, they either perish or they get caught into the net of criminal gangs who will stop at nothing to exploit these children. If you haven't seen it yet, watch the film Slumdog Millionaire to get an idea of this.

The school that is being built is designed to take children from a very young age right through to college. It will also assist them in finding careers and higher education. It will board them and ultimately give them their life back.

When I learned about this, it really got me thinking. What would it be like to be offered a chance to have a life when everything has been stripped from you including your parents? What does it mean to give a child food, clothing, a roof, friends, education, and a chance to succeed? How much do I value MY education?, my own children's education? I put all the effort I can to make sure they are well educated. What of giving another child that same gift? Another child that I've never met before, have no connection with and may never ever meet? They may sit in an office in another part of the world some day and think "despite all the odds, and all my losses, look where I have got today with the help of people who may have no worldly benefit from me".

Taking the challenge
So, I have decided to grab the bull by the horns and register for the trek. That was the easy part done with! Now comes the real serious issue and the one that counts the most, the fund raising. I have some big fund raising ideas in mind such as a mandatory samosa sale which happens at work, working with the children's school and obviously asking friends and family for donations but time is running a bit short now so I need to up the ante and get on with gathering the cash.

So, if you've got this far without wanting to pull your toenails out, please take a minute to visit my page and make a donation. Remember, even if it's a very small amount, it will all make a difference to somebodies life. I really want to succeed in helping out on this project so please take a little time out to make a donation.

Also, keep popping back as I will be updating the page with training and fundraising progress



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