So I did something crazy and signed up to climb Kilimanjaro next summer!
This 6 day trek to the roof of Africa will not only be an experience of a lifetime, but a huge challenge at the same time and I can't wait to go on this adventure! I am also very excited to be able to support and fundraise for an amazing project in East Africa:
Dig Deep is a charity working hard to transform lives in rural Kenya by providing access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene training to schools and communities. Over the next few months I am going to be fundraising to reach my goal of £2500, 50% of which will go directly towards the projects in Kenya and the other 50% will go towards the trip costs.
Here is more about Dig Deep and what they do:
Clean drinking water, safe toilets and good hygiene are essential, and yet in rural Kenya, too many children and communities lack these services. This causes entirely preventable disease which disrupts children from learning and parents from earning. It leaves young children stunted from malnourishment and particularly prevents girls from reaching their full potential.
Taps, Toilets and Training:
We build infrastructure that will provide a school or community with reliable, clean water (normally by installing a rainwater harvesting system). We use locally available materials, training up local artisans and community groups to ensure that the equipment can be managed and maintained in the long term.
The clean water improves health, saves time that was previously used for collecting water and positively impacts school attendance and attainment.
We build Ventilated Improved Pit latrines in schools, providing children with a safe, hygienic and private space in which to go to the toilet. While this sounds simple, it has a huge impact on children’s health and school attendance, particularly for teenage girls.
We also promote the construction of latrines at people's homes to end the practice of open defecation which contributes to the spread of disease. We mobilise communities to build their own at every home in the locality.
We train teachers and community health workers in health and hygiene, ensuring that communities understand how diseases spread and what they need to do to keep themselves and their families healthy. Training these key community members to teach others means the knowledge remains embedded and is delivered sensitively.
We also run menstrual hygiene training, breaking down stigma, correcting misinformation and giving girls the tools and insight they need to continue their education and role in the community when menstruating.
Diseases from dirty water kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war, and children under five years old are the worst affected. We know that clean water reduces diarrhoea by 21%; safe sanitation reduces diarrhoea by 37%; and the simple act of washing hands at critical times can reduce diarrhoea cases by as much as 35% .
443 million school days are lost each year simply due to children suffering from water and sanitation related illness. From seeing the improvements in attendance and grades at the schools we have already partnered with, we know that taps and toilets are vital for educating the next generation.
In the areas where we work 4 in 10 children suffer from stunting due to inadequate nutrition, resulting in a permanent impairment in their physical and cognitive development. We know that up to 50% of these cases could be prevented with access to clean water and safe sanitation.
Empowerment for women
Lacking access to clean water places the burden of collection disproportionately on women and girls - in the areas where we work they walk up to 80 minutes a day to collect water in the dry season. We know that the provision of taps and toilets removes this burden and also increases girls' attendance in school, hugely increasing the opportunities available to them.
Water and sanitation access unleashes a community's economic potential. We know that on average every £1 invested in water and sanitation yields over £4 in economic return.
People fortunate enough to grow up with taps and toilets often can’t imagine living a day without them. We know that water and sanitation promotes dignity and brings happiness.
Thank you so much for your support, it means a lot!