In the next few weeks, 40 people will proudly be able to say they climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.
On July 14, the climbers will make the journey to the top as part of an annual initiative called the Geita Gold Mine Kili Challenge, geared towards raising funds and awareness of HIV/AIDS.
At 19,341 feet (5,985 meters) above sea level, Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest-free standing mountain in the world, as well as Africa’s highest peak.
But the height of the mountain won’t deter the climbers, who are coming from all over the world and represent all age groups.
Two of the climbers making the journey are only 13 years old, and come from the Moyo Wa Huruma Orphanage in Geita, Tanzania, which was built and funded by the Geita Gold Mine charity.
Every year, two orphans, one boy and one girl, are sponsored to take on the mountain with the team of climbers.
Since the initiative began, more than 600 people from different parts of the world have participated in the climb, raising in excess of US$500,000 per year.
The annual climb was initiated in 1999 as a call to Tanzania to commit itself to the fight against HIV/AIDS.
To learn more about the initiative and see how you can participate, visit www.geitakilichallenge.com.
For more information on climbing the mountain yourself, see A Beginner’s Guide To Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Read more: All Africa