WFP-backed team reaches summit of Mt. KilimanjaroListen /
An all-female climbing team supported by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) in Tanzania has reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest mountain.
The ten women made the ascent to highlight the importance of girls' education and of school meals. The team which timed their climb to mark the week of International Women's Day on 8 March, documented their journey on Twitter using the hashtag #WFPkili2013.
The expedition included seven Nepalese women who scaled Mt. Everest in 2008 and three African women. Among the climbers were Nimdoma Sherpa, a former recipient of WFP school meals in Nepal, and Anna Philipo Indaya – a member of Tanzania's endangered Hadzabe people, who is a teacher in a WFP-supported primary school in Arusha, Tanzania.
The team includes Hlubi Mboya, a South African actress and WFP National Ambassador Against Hunger, and Ashura Kayupayupa, a youth activist from Dar es Salaam.
"This is one of the hardest things I've ever done," said Hlubi Mboya, as she reached the summit. Her message to girls across the African continent: "Never give up, be your own hero, never quit, never fear failure."
The expedition was undertaken in partnership with the Childreach International, a non-governmental organisation working with local communities in Tanzania to help improve children's access to education and healthcare, Tanzania's Ministry of Tourism and Natural Resources, and Tanzania National Parks.
The climbers began their ascent via the Machame route on 28 February. In the coming days, they will visit schools around Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Moshi to share their inspiring stories and talk about the importance of education.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.