Updated: Jun 4, 2019
By Toria Cox
On 15th February, Mount Cook’s Marketing Officer, Toria, arrived at Wildebeest Eco Camp in Nairobi. She joined a group which included the organisation’s Director Robin and several friends of Mount Cook, with the collective aim to climb Africa’s 2nd highest mountain – Mount Kenya.
The group of 18 took on this challenge to raise money for the charity Team Kenya. The charity’s mission is: “to involve entire communities in gender equality, so that girls in rural Kenya can create their own bright futures.” By working with rural communities in Ndhiwa, western Kenya, Team Kenya helps to provide girls with access to quality education and equal opportunities.
Here’s how they got on…
The Mount Kenya trekkers not only completed a huge personal challenge, but also raised an incredible £41,718 (and counting) for Team Kenya. The funds generously raised by the Mount Kenya team will facilitate the expansion of the charity’s Advocacy for Safe Communities programme, which is currently being expanded from working with 8 schools to 12. Team Kenya will also help to fund training for teachers in 28 schools, providing them with the skills necessary to become advocates for girls in their school.
The goal of the Advocacy for Safe Communities programme is for girls and young women to be equal and respected members of society, who are safe at home, in school and in the community. The programme also benefits males, who also suffer from embedded gender roles and are more likely to suffer from corporal punishment in school. As part of the Advocacy for Safe Communities programme, Team Kenya will invest the fund-raised money into the following activities:
Community training in gender equality and children’s rights
Support and advice for victims of gender based violence
Community advocacy to promote safe communities
Mixed-gender football to engage girls and boys in gender equality issues
Girls’ advocates in schools to promote gender equality and the development of safe schools
During her visit to Kenya, Mount Cook’s Marketing Officer, Toria, had the opportunity to visit Ndhiwa to see first-hand the positive impact Team Kenya is having upon schools and the local community. She said:
“Everyone we met in Ndhiwa were so warm and welcoming. We stayed in Karibuni Eco-Cottages, which is operated by Team Kenya to generate income to invest in the local community. The local ladies who ran the Eco Cottages were fantastic and made you feel so at home. We visited two schools who had benefited from Team Kenya support. All of the teachers were clearly advocates for girls’ education and understood its importance. They were also doing whatever they could to help young girls in poverty overcome the barriers which prevented them from accessing an education, including counselling, support and advice. There is still some way to go before girls and women are equal members of the community. However, it is so evident the positive impact Team Kenya is having upon Ndhiwa, and I’m very proud to have supported the important work this charity is doing. Long may it continue!”