The idea for the Mt Kilimanjaro Project came about because Debra Ridgway was left a bequest by her grandmother after she died. Her grandmother Agnes Stanton had been in the care of Lake Taupo Hospice and Debra works for them. Debra and her grandmother shared a love of travel and a dream to climb Mt Kilimanjaro so Debra decided to use her bequest not only to do their shared ‘bucket list’ item but also as a way of raising money for Lake Taupo Hospice. “In a town dominated by a mountain, climbing a mountain seemed an obvious way to raise money” says Debra. “Also when I started working at Lake Taupo Hospice I saw so many people who are climbing their our mountains that I thought perhaps they would like in some way to be able to go up Kilimanjaro too, so I see this as a way to invite them to join me on this amazing adventure in spirit even if not actually in person.
We aim to raise $30,000 for Lake Taupo Hospice through a range of fundraising activities which link to Debra and her grandmothers story and reflect the unique culture and environment around Lake Taupo Hospice and the Lake Taupo communities.
Also whilst in Africa, Debra will be volunteering at the Peace Matunda Village. The village uses the money it gains from guiding tourists up the mountain to fund their school, orphanage, to train other guides and to set up their own businesses so that the villagers have employment and the village is self sustainable. The village asked if Debra can help them by showing them how to set up a suitable accounting package for their needs – so as part of this project we also hope to raise funds to purchase a laptop and the software as our donation to them.