Trek4Mandela to tackle Kilimanjaro

2 July 2014

The third annual Trek4Mandela will see a group of explorers driving through Botswana, Zambia and Tanzania before summiting Mount Kilimanjaro on 18 July – Nelson Mandela International Day – in support of Caring4Girls and in celebration of South Africa’s 20 years of democracy.

The group will be led by Caring4Girls founder Richard Mabaso and Sibusiso Vilane, the first black African to conquer the “Three Poles” (South Pole, North Pole and Mount Everest), and joined by Queen MaMchiza of the Zulu royal household.

The expedition will stop over at schools en route to discuss the legacy of Nelson Mandela with young people and to distribute sanitary towels to girls, before tackling Africa’s highest peak.

Vilane said he chose to participate in this year’s Trek4Mandela because he wanted to “help in keeping our girls in school, and give them back their dignity and boost their self-esteem”.

Mabaso founded Caring4Girls when he overheard his mother and niece talking about menstruation and the embarrassment and fear it caused. Studies have shown that rural and disadvantaged girls in particular miss a significant amount of school because of menstruation.

To help address this, Caring4Girls supplies sanitary towels (provided by Lil-Lets) and booklets titled “Puberty and Adolescence Demystified”. Last year, the initiative formed part of the Royal Zulu Reed Dance, joined forces with the Teach Children to Save South Africa initiative of the Banking Association of SA, and was officially endorsed by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

Caring4Girls and Trek4Mandela have challenged governments, companies, organisations and individuals to help them reach their goal of a distributing at least 67 000 packets of sanitary pads this year.

Support options include making a donation, becoming a sponsor, or taking part in the expedition itself as part of the support team, the drive and climb team, or the climb team only (by flying in to join them at Kilimanjaro).

The trek will take place in partnership with Bongani Mountain Lodge and the Nelson Mandela Foundation. For more information, visit www.trek4mandela.com.

SAinfo reporter