Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Cause

I’ve written quite a bit about my personal journey so far – the training, my thinking and my fears. I think it is now time to take a look at the raison d’etre for this journey.

As my holiday in Mauritius comes to an end, it is a good time for me to express my gratitude for an amazing holiday that came at exactly the right time. When I arrived, I was feeling exhausted and in desperate need for some me time. As I leave, I feel blessed and rejuvenated. The resort we stayed in catered to our every whim and we all felt absolutely spoilt every minute of the day. We barely had to glance to the side and a waiter would be there to ask if there was anything we needed.

Resort life feels like a self-contained world where you can almost begin to believe that this is what the island is about. We took one day to tour some of the towns in the Island and were struck by the stark reality of island life. While we were rejuvenating ourselves and relaxing at the resort, there are people living in absolute poverty, desperate for a way to make a living and relying on us tourists to provide them with a way to earn some income. The contrast was thought provoking.

We see this dichotomy everywhere in the world. I believe that it is up to every one of us to make sure that we are grateful for what we have and that we contribute to others that are less fortunate than ourselves wherever we can. That is why I’m proud of the fact that while the Kilimanjaro trip is a personal journey of meaning and growth, it is also about a cause that is larger than myself. This trip is about inspiring women in challenging circumstances to know that anything is possible, one step at a time. The charity that we’re supporting is the Women’s Empowerment Division of ORTJET and the aim is to establish an Academy that will provide training of marketable skills, teach financial management and ensure sustainable independence.

This is a dream to raise hope and restore dignity.

As we go on in our daily lives, hundreds of women across our communities battle a never-ending onslaught of hunger, anxiety and self-doubt. Their decisions involve making choices between providing a roof over their children’s heads, or food in their lunch boxes. They rely on hand-outs, food parcels and the generosity of strangers. The purpose of the Kilimanjaro campaign is not only to raise awareness of the needs of these divorced, widowed, abused and vulnerable women but more importantly to raise enough money to establish the Academy.

The charity that is creating this Academy is ORT SA. Their motto is "Educating for Life". Giving skills, tools and education to South Africans from all backgrounds, cultures and education levels, helping all ages to ensure gainful employment and moulding people into contributing members of society.

In the words of Tali Frankel, a fellow climber and friend, "If you believe as we do, that the best way to give to someone is to equip them not with a food parcel but with the ability to earn, not with a welfare cheque but with marketable skills, not with gratefulness but with dignity – then join us on our incredible journey."

If you would like to join me in championing this worthy cause, please add your donation on my back-a-buddy page on or by contributing via EFT.

Thank you all for your support!

Banking details:
Johannesburg Women’s ORT
Standard Bank Norwood Mall
Branch code: 004105
Account number: 001824538
Ref: DSH/Your Name

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