- Middle East/North Africa
Twenty-six climbers reached the summit of the highest mountain in Africa today, raising the Egyptian flag on top of Mount Kilimanjaro to mark the success of their initiative, tagged “The Right to Climb” by its leader, mountaineer Omar Samra.
The initiative said that by their actions, Egyptians have just broken new ground. The Right to Climb initiative assembled 26 committed climbers who dedicated their time and effort to raising awareness and funds for the cause of mental disability in Egypt. By conquering Africa’s highest mountain, the daredevils fought for the “Right to Live.”
The initiative was the product of collaboration between Wild Guanabana, a travel company that customizes adventure trips, and The Right to Live Association, a non-profit organization which works for greater integration of special needs individuals into society.
Omar Samra, founder of Wild Guanabana, led the seven-day expedition in Tanzania. Samra is famous for his Everest climb, a few years ago.
Designed as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative, Samra and his partner Adel Abdel Ghafar conceived The Right to Climb in the hope it would inspire other businesses, large and small, to adopt similar causes.
The Right to Live Association tries to supply mentally disabled individuals with the support they need “to lead the life they deserve.” According to the information available on the initiative’s pages on social networking websites, the proceeds from The Right To Climb initiative is expected to assist the association to: develop vocational training to facilitate future job opportunities, promote community workshops designed to prevent discrimination against youth with special needs, and secure a stable source of income for mentally disabled children through selling the products that they produce.
Constantly in contact with thousands of spectators through popular social networking websites, like Twitter, The Right to Climb-ers received support and delivered updates on their exhilarating journey. Friends, relatives, and enthusiasts followed The Right to Climb, Samra, and other climbers on Facebook and Twitter, eagerly reading about their every move.
On day one, the climbers had “leek soup, fish, boiled potted and sautéed vegetables,” for dinner, read one of the updates. On their second day, they were “high above the clouds with a few random mountains peaking through and Kilimanjaro’s summit was looming” according to the initiative’s Facebook profile. On Twitter, Wild Guanabana writes that on the third day of the trip, the RTC team were “certainly the loudest and the most energetic people on the mountain”. And by the fourth day, they were all “super excited about the summit.”
The news of the successful climb broke on The Right to Climb’s Facebook page, “26 out of 26 climbers have done it. All reached the top. That's the spirit. That's the payback of hard work and determination. Thank you all for the prayers. We're going down now.”
But they can only go “up” from here. Despite physical pain, and Nile FM presenter Safi’s claims on Twitter that the climb was “the most physically grueling thing I've ever done!” The Right to Climb may leave its mark. Hundreds of Twitter and Facebook users are already typing words of support and congratulation. One ‘tweet’ claims that someone will be raising the Egyptian flag on the top of their house for The Right to Climb, and others have said that they feel that they too reached the top with the 26 climbers.