• Eastern Cape Rising Sun

Lee-Ann King summits Mt Kilimanjaro for girl’s dignity

East London’s Lee-Ann King summited Mountain Kilimanjaro and raised over R28 000 for Caring4Girls, an organisation that distributes sanitary pads to young women in need and provides menstrual hygiene education.

The mother of three was among the second group of adventurers who took part in the second Trek4Mandela summit, reaching the top of Africa’s highest peak on Women’s Day. This is part of the Thuli Mandonsela Women’s Day Executive Climb for Dignity and Social Justice.

King also collected enough sanitary pads to donate to Lumko High School in Amalinda to last the girls till the end of the year. Although she has reached her goal, King said she’d like to raise more funds so that she can include more schools around East London.

“Restoring the dignity of the girl child is something I feel strongly about and it was lovely to meet like-minded individuals. A strong theme that came out from our Trek was that we should stop blaming everyone else for the situations that we find ourselves in, but rather look within ourselves to find the solutions,” said King.

King was among 23 climbers who reached the Uhuru Peak and she described the Trek with former public protector, Professor Madonsela, as a “life changing experience” that has shown her the true spirit of Ubuntu.

Professor Madonsela, via Trek4Mandela organiser, Imbumba Foundation, said the experience was unlike anything she could have expected. “It was full of thrills, twists and turns. The biggest lessons by far was to conquer the mountain within us, and realising the strength and courage one can master when focusing on the commitments we made to serving these girls in order for them to be able to conquer their own mountains”.

The summit was led by well-known mountaineer and adventurer, Sibusiso Vilane.

Mari van Wyk and Lee-Ann King conquered Africa’s highest mountain on Women’s Day and are pictured at Kibo Hut.

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