Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was a dream; even after reaching the summit, it was still ethereal, surreal and fleeting. Were we really there? Did it really happen? Did we really make a difference? Of course it happened, our photos and contribution of almost $80,000 to help Africa’s suffering grandmothers proves it.
We are the Kilimanjaro Grannies and we have a story to share. While sharing our journey with you, we will also be sharing the proceeds from the sale of our book, Kilimanjaro: A Purposeful Journey, to support of the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign and the Snowy Owl AIDS Foundation.
Our goals are simple but challenging.
We want to inspire every one of you to make some, if not all, of your dreams come true. For those of you who have not dared to dream – now is a good time to start. Without dreams, we flounder. Life is too short and there’s too much that needs doing to waste any of it.
We want to raise awareness about the AIDS pandemic that is destroying the social and economic fabric of an entire continent. AIDS has brought Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa to its knees literally and figuratively. AIDS has lain to rest an entire generation of wage earners leaving grandparents and orphaned children to fend for each other with little or no economic support. AIDS has redefined the family unit where vulnerable children are raising their siblings, grandparents are the primary caregivers to millions of orphans and communities are ostracizing the HIV+ sufferers.
We want to raise funds for those affected and infected with HIV and AIDS so that we can turn the tide of AIDS in Africa by supporting grassroots organizations working with those in dire need. Giving them hope to continue their daily struggles and ensuring the future of Africa’s children.
We also want to raise funds to build a camp in our community for people living with HIV and AIDS and their caregivers, loved ones, and traditional/non-traditional families. Camp Wendake of Eastern Ontario is a place where they can find freedom from focusing upon the disease for a brief time – and find an opportunity to celebrate life.