Women complete Kilimanjaro climb
After five days of strenuous hiking to reach the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Freedom Climbers made their downward trek and arrived safely in Loitokitok, Kenya, on 16 January.
Forty-four out of 48 of the climbers reached Gillman’s Point (18,647 feet)—28 of them reached Uhuru Peak, the summit, at 19,336 feet.
Those who reached the summit trekked through the dark, early hours of 15 January. Upon reaching Uhuru (freedom) Peak, climber Holly Harris was struck by the symbolism of the journey and what it represented for millions of women and children in the world.
“I thought about the women involved in sexual slavery—the worst time for them is night. And the worst part of the climb was the summit; I just wanted to get through the night,” remembers Holly. “When light broke through and I could see what was left of the summit, it was phenomenal.”
On the hike down, each step brought more oxygen and less pressure for the climbers, thus fewer headaches and less nausea. At one point, the group trekked through a rainforest.
Throughout the climb, porters and guides carried the heavier equipment and led the way. When they returned, the team held a celebration to express gratitude to those who had helped them on the journey. The women washed the feet of the porters.
“[It] was a really cool opportunity after they had served us all week,” says Holly. Adds climber Cheryl Weber: “We could not have made it without their help and encouragement.”
Though the women have completed the climb, the effort of the Freedom Climb does not end here. The funds raised will go to impact women and children worldwide through rescue and rehabilitation. To learn more about how to get involved, visit the Freedom Climb website at www.thefreedomclimb.net.
Please also continue praying for the health of each climber. Pray also for their return journey home. Pray that more funds will come in for projects to help oppressed and trafficked women and children around the world.
Published: Thursday, 19 January 2012
Credit: OM International