maryam qureshi

Saira & Maryam's Everest Base Camp Challenge

Fundraising for Penny Appeal
raised of £20,000 target
by 131 supporters
Donations cannot currently be made to this page
Everest Base Camp 2018
Campaign by Penny Appeal (RCN 1128341)
34 fundraisers take on a mighty 12 day trek to Mount Everest Base Camp, reaching over 18,000ft. Help our team raise £250,000 for the Rohingya Refugee Crisis. Donate TODAY!


Thank you for taking time out to view our page and donate. We are both really looking forward to this exciting challenge but more importantly raising money for this worthy cause.

We decided to share the same JustGiving page, because we share the same family and friends =)

However, we both have our own stories and reasons for wanting to be part of this journey.


Although I went skydiving a couple of years ago (and would love to go again), I am the less crazy and adrenaline-junky-mad of the two of us. As a family, our parents have always encouraged us to be outdoors, go on hikes, take part in water sports, etc. Our mum especially has been a key motivator in making sure her 4 daughters and every girl she knows takes part in the same physical activities as our male counterparts. Although she wasn't keen on us taking part in the Everest Base Camp Trek (as she thinks Maryam will find a way to climb to Everest peak), she was happy to hear that the majority of the EBC team this year is made up of "young ladies" (#girlpower).

Although hiking in the UK every summer is great fun, Maryam and I have always wanted to climb Kilimanjaro together and said we would before our next big birthday. Having volunteered and fundraised for several charities since we were children, we wanted to make sure the challenge would be sponsored to raise money for a much-needed cause. Whilst researching Maryam came across Penny Appeal’s Everest Base Camp Challenge. I immediately dropped out because as those who know me know, I HATE THE COLD, and we’re going in DECEMBER!!

Maryam was the first to sign up and I continued to research for teams going to Kili. However, once she sent me the Penny Appeal brochure, which highlighted not only the amazing experience climbing to EBC is, but the amazing work Penny Appeal are doing and how your donations will help the Rohingya refugees, I was in.

This definitely won’t be like any of my spontaneous trips abroad and I am really looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead. The strength and bravery that the Rohingya people show on a daily basis will be my motivation to make sure that I not only hit my fundraising target by September, but that I reach Everest Base Camp without getting frostbite!


My love and fascination for mountains began when I was a child and it’s something I just haven't been able to shake. Mountains are mentioned in the Quran countless times as something to help strengthen your belief, to provide proof as a symbol of power and magnitude, but also as a reminder of the final days. If Allah wills he can turn these giant, towering mounds of rock and dirt into dust. The verses in the Qur'an have always resonated with me and helped me really see the beauty and magnificence of these creations.

Ever since I can remember my parents have encouraged my siblings and I to enjoy the outdoors. They have instilled within us a want and need to explore the world. So, it will come as no surprise to someone who knows me that since I was 15 I had set myself a goal to climb the 7 summits of the world. Ending with Everest...

15 years down the line I am no closer to achieving this goal. I have completed my 'worldly duties' by getting a degree, marrying, travelling, been in constant employment since I was 17 etc. but I still am no closer to the one goal I have ever set myself.

Maybe it was reaching 30 or maybe it was certain hardships in my life but last Ramadan I gave myself a kick up the backside and decided to evaluate my priorities and think about what I really wanted to do and achieve in my life. Amongst my list of priorities was my dream of climbing Everest and I decided I wasn't going to let anything get in my way, I was going to start working towards these goals, even if I didn't achieve them. At least I know I tried.

Mount Kilimanjaro had always been where I had wanted to start the 7-summit challenge and so I started to look for a group who was going. Saira and I had always wanted to climb Kilimanjaro together and so I told her I was looking for a charity to climb with and she was extremely interested and excited that we were finally going to do this.

During my research, I came across Penny Appeals trip to Kilimanjaro in December and was gutted that I had missed it. They were literally scaling the mountain as I was researching a group to go with!  I asked if they would be doing a trip the following year and that's when I found out about EBC.

After some research, I discovered that EBC requires roughly the same skill level as Kili and so I decided to go for it. I waited patiently for the registration page to go live and was the first person to sign up. I then forwarded the information pack to Saira, which really excited her and so she signed up too!

What could be a better place to start than where I want it to end one day. Mount Everest.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story.

Hundreds of thousands of refugees have been displaced due to the crisis in Myanmar. Around 500,000 of these refugees are currently living in Balukhali Refugee Camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

With your donations, we hope to try and make this situation a little more bearable for them by proving food, clothing, water, hygiene and sanitation supplies, alongside building much-needed toilets and shelters.

Donations are Zakat eligible and there is a 100% Donation policy.

Thanks again for taking time out to read our stories and hopefully understanding why your donations are so important.

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About the campaign

34 fundraisers take on a mighty 12 day trek to Mount Everest Base Camp, reaching over 18,000ft. Help our team raise £250,000 for the Rohingya Refugee Crisis. Donate TODAY!

About the charity

Penny Appeal

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1128341
Penny Appeal makes charity affordable and rewardable. We work in 30 crisis-hit countries, providing life-saving aid to the poor and needy to help alleviate poverty and transform lives for just pennies per day. Your small change can help us make a big difference – every penny really does count.

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