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,.How many people get to climb one of the world’s highest mountain peaks with a group of eight determined and enthusiastic blind persons?
Kilimanjaro Blind Trust Africa completed ten years of its existence in 2018.
In the year 2005 when Paul Polman, Chairman of the Board and Global CEO, Unilever, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. This was with a group of 28 members, eight of whom were blind. An American athlete, adventurer, author and activist inspired and assembled the group. Above all, Erik Weihenmeyer is a motivational speaker, and the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
The team finally completed 18 hours of hiking. They covered 13,200 feet of climbing ( to the top and down to the final campsite). Indeed, it was a challenge of huge proportions. However, almost the entire team made it to the top. Making it the largest number of blind people to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, ever.
KBTA’s journey began after the climb ended. For this reason, the group of climbers visited local blind schools around Mt. Kilimanjaro. More importantly, to connect with blind children and bring them much needed supplies and materials. The bright smiles of children receiving their first white canes and talking watches, inspired the vision for creating Kilimanjaro Blind Trust Africa.
The experience with blind persons provided first-hand insight into the burning need for modern educational resources. In this case, for visually impaired children in East Africa. From these visits, emerged the concept of a trust to help provide better support for the education of visually impaired children in East Africa, with literacy at its core. After prolonged discussions with on-the-ground educators, local NGOs and the Perkins School for the Blind, the Kilimanjaro Blind Trust Africa decided on its focus: to help all of Africa’s blind children have access to Braille and Braille education throughout their education process.
KBTA was officially chartered in December 2006, as a non-profit trust registered in Kenya. Most of its operating funds have been raised on a continuing basis. This is beyond its start-up funds. This is through public fundraising efforts, direct donations from individuals or corporates, from bank interest or investment returns and other sources.
We are highly appreciative of all of the generous support from Kilimanjaro Blind Trust Africa’s many friends everywhere. They allow us to fulfill our mission on a daily basis. Please support Kilimanjaro Blind Trust Africa today! (Link to DONATE page)
All projects funded by Kilimanjaro Blind Trust Africa are overseen by the KBTA Board of Directors who ensure accountability to our donors through regular audits, carried out by a professional auditing firm. Please feel free to reach out with any questions!