Students to Scale Kilimanjaro for AIDS Clinic, Awareness

Monday, December 1, 2008


Written by Scott Gilbert

A group of University of Guelph students plan to climb Mount Kilimanjaro - the largest mountain in Tanzania - to raise money and awareness for and AIDS clinic in Africa. The mountain is 6,000 metres above sea level and they hope to reach the top on Christmas Day.

The trained team departs December 14th, and hopes to return on the 28th provided all goes well.

To date, around $15,000 has been raised via an initiative called "Climb to End AIDS." The funds are to be distributed to the Masai Project for an AIDS clinic in Lesotho.

"About 8,000 people die of AIDS every day," said team leader Lauren Wallace, a second-year U of G student. "We care so much that we're willing to climb a mountain for it."

Also on the team are students Normand Doan, Taryn Guldborg and Richard Gilbert, as well as Cathy Wallace, Lauren Wallace's aunt and a Hamilton police officer.

It is estimated that 33 million people globally have the disease, with 2/3 people with HIV living in sub-Saharan Africa.

"Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is going to be challenging, but I'm hoping I'll come out of it a stronger person — body and mind," said Guldborg. "I know that I'll definitely be missing my family during Christmas, but I'm hoping that the view from the summit on Christmas Day will be worth the separation."

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  1. Posted by: Cyrus on Dec 1, 2008 @ 1:18pm

    Either these people are trying to get a free trip, or they overlooked the fact that they are asking to have a free trip to Mt. Kilamanjaro (why not use that money to buy/build/do -something-for people with AIDs?)...unless whoever wrote this thing was really oblivious to the fact that the text brought up those questions...

  2. Posted by: Dan on Dec 15, 2008 @ 7:03pm

    I agree with Cyrus. Wouldn't it accomplish a lot more in contributing HIV/AIDS awareness and the situation in general by the money being raised through campaigning being spent on helping those affected by HIV/AIDS pay for anti-retoviral drugs, etc. This is no different than sending students to build schools in developing countries, when the money it costs to send them their could employ skilled local people, pay for more books etc. If you want to do something to help get some real skills, ie. become a public health professional, engineer....etc. and go and work for an NGO rather than wasting peoples time and money through some "enlightened tourism" or what have you.

    Also, could someone explain why the Masai Centre, located in Lesotho in Southern Africa, is named after a tribe from Kenya and Tanzania.

  3. Posted by: John Purdy on Jan 21, 2009 @ 3:40am

    Actually each member of the team paid their own way including air and trip costs.
    All the money raised went to the Masai Centre.

    What have you doe Cyrus and Dan to help someone lately.

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