The Journey, Kilimanjaro 2021
Before coming to Tanzania, each one of the participants fundraised to get children out of child labour with The Next Smile. The participants were guided by 2 volunteers the weeks and months before the challenge. One of the volunteers is a professional fitness coach who advised and shared training schedules to reach the right level of fitness. The second volunteer guided, helped, and provided the materials for the participants to fundraise. Since the purpose of the Kilimanjaro challenge is to get children out of child labour by climbing the tallest free standing mountain in the world.
Local school visit
When all the participants arrived near Kilimanjaro, we visited a local show that The Next Smile supports. The participants had the rare privilege to interact with and meet the children of the school. We gave gifts and played a game of soccer.
As you can see of the pictures, the children and Kili challengers both enjoyed the day and the interaction.
The next day we drove 3 hours by car to start the climb up to Kili. We walk the Lemosho route since it’s the most scenic route.
Every night we saw the milky way, even more pretty than on the pictures.
At each camp is a small sign where we would pose in front of, held up our fingers to indicate which day we are at and take a picture.
This is tradition!
Above the clouds
Waking up above the clouds. We woke up 4 days above the clouds, a truly unforgettable feeling.
Breaks during the hikes
We hiked 4-8 hours a day. Depending on the altitude and the day. We would have breaks during the hikes, where some of the porters would set up a place for thee, nuts and biscuits.
We crossed rivers, walked through mountain-passes as a group supporting each other. We are in this together. However, even though this is very adventurous, we never had to actually climb. Making this a true hike instead of climb, and much more accessible for participants to join from all ages.
Base camp, at the foot of Kilimanjaro.
100% of all the participants of The Next Smile have reached the top. Reaching the summit is an unbelievable feeling every time, seeing the glaciers (in Africa!), feeling the thin air, exhausted from the hike. But the views and feeling of accomplishment is worth so worth it.
Hiking the Glaciers!
For the participants with enough energy left, you can still take an additional 1.5 hour hike to the glaciers. This hike is at 5850 meters and only for the ones who have had no troubles going up.