UPDATE: - I DID IT !!!!! :-)
We have just returned 5.3.06, and yes I did reach Uhuru Peak (at about 815am March 1st) - the roof of Africa ! It was very tough, and required extreme focus to achieve it, but it is great to have succeeded. However we are still raising money for the School Bus so please do continue to support our worthy cause, for the children of Nairobi. We met all the children in the school and it was such a delight - they were so pleased to see us and each class gave us cards, and sang songs and dances for us. A very moving experience, and a powerful encouragement to us. Climbing with the school teachers was especially good, getting to know them and the issues they and the children face. Images and stories will follow as soon as we can get them sorted. KEEP GIVING ! Thank you.
Thanks for visiting this page, and I do hope you will consider supporting this project to help many of the children in the outskirts of Nairobi slums who cannot get safely to school to have a chance of an education by providing a school bus, and to enabling more school places for Kenyan children in building additional classrooms.
This fundraising challenge is jointly carried out between Africans in Nairobi from Church Army Africa and St Joseph's in Kabete, Nairobi and Christ Church, Herne Bay, UK (www.christchurch-hernebay.info), with additional support from friends around the UK. It was borne out of discussions in Christ Church youth group, Dare2, desiring to partner with a similar group in an african community to begin to share and understand each others experiences of the world. The project opens up a relationship between the churches on a wider level too.
Our ultimate goal is Uhuru Peak,Kilimanjaro gracing at 5,895m above sea level: highest point of the African continent and in doing so, to raise GBP40,000 towards a new school bus and classrooms for a school set up by Church Army Africa 10 years ago. The air is pretty thin up Kilimanjaro and the trek involves tough long days walking so to succeed in reaching the summit is no mean feat handling the heat of the African sun and the freezing peak, for the 8 day challenge beginning Feb 22nd 2006. Our approach trail to the summit will follow the less frequented Rongai (Nalemoru) Route that starts on the Kenyan side at the Outward Bound Mountain School (OBMS) Loitoktok.We will then descend via the better known Marangu Route on the Tanzanian side.
I am particularly pleased to be trekking alongside 8 of our african brothers and sisters including Steve Maina, head of Church Army Africa and also youth minister in St Josephs. Joined in purpose and goal - a great opportunity to get to know them.
If you have read enough, click on DONATE NOW and sponsor me [note you can do this anonymously so dont worry], or for more info and background, read on or email for further detail.
THANK YOU for your support :-)
====> The school (called the Church Army Academy) is set in a densely populated, generally low-income neighbourhood characterised by slum settlement. It is aimed at providing good education as well as training leaders who will transform the continent of Africa. It now has about 250 students. In 2003 the Kenyan Government introduced free primary education in all public schools. While this gives an opportunity to needy children to get an education, it suffers from crowded classrooms and teachers find that they do not have the capacity to cope with the rapid growth. A typical class in the public school has an average of 60 students per teacher. The quality of education is therefore compromised and the specific needs of the children are not addressed.
Church Army Academy offers the same system of education but with an average 16-20 students per teacher. The academy is privately run and therefore does not receive Government funding. However, the academy is able to meet much of its total running costs through the school fees paid in by parents. It is committed to serve low income and poor families, and therefore will not load capital developments on the parents nor borrow money, which would eventually be a load on the families. The rest of the money is raised through generous donations from churches, organisations and individuals. Though the pupils are supposed to pay fees, this is not always the case because some parents are too poor. A benevolence fund named "Kitty for the needy" assists those who need it. Just GBP225 covers education for one pupil for a year.
But more than just education,the academy provides nutritious meals and drinks for every child. For many children, this may be the only nutritious meal they get in a day. Due its position, most children either take public transport or walk to the school. Because of the dense population, the roads are very busy making it dangerous for children to cross the roads along their way. The unemployment rate in Kenya is steadily on the rise resulting in increase of crime and the area is recorded to have one of the highest crime rates in Nairobi. The children are exposed to crime as potential victims or are lured into it. If the academy were to provide a school bus for transport these challenges would be addressed. The parents would be assured of their children's safety on the roads, safety from crime and drugs and cheaper transport. The bus would obviously make the school accessible to all students. School transport would be open to students at a discounted rate and for free for those supported by the bursary fund.
We propose to get a new 33-seater Isuzu bus that is fitted with safety belts and a speed governor at a cost of GBP25,000. In addition any remaining funds raised will go towards bulding additional classrooms to help meet the increasing demands for school places.
Please support us in getting this bus and helping the children in the city of Nairobi get the education they so badly want.
Donating through this site is simple, fast and totally secure and can be completely anonymous too. It is also the most efficient way to sponsor me: Church Army Africa (there is no logo for it on this site, but they will benefit from this cause) will receive your money faster and, if you are a UK taxpayer, an extra 28% in tax will be added to your gift at no cost to you. So please sponsor me now! Its great encouragement to complete the challenge.
Many thanks for your support.