INTREPID: Sibusiso Vilane and Richard Mabaso. When the expedition first began, it was just the two of them.
INTREPID: Sibusiso Vilane and Richard Mabaso. When the expedition first began, it was just the two of them.

Trek4Mandela Kilimanjaro Climb in aid of sanitary pads

By Nickita Maesela Time of article published Jul 12, 2017

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Johannesburg - The sixth Annual Trek4Mandela Kilimanjaro Climb is set to take place on Wednesday.

Given the rising national call for the provision of free sanitary pads for girls “the fundraising goal is to reach 500 000 girls this year,” said Richard Mabaso, chief executive officer of the Imbumba Foundation that aims to bring about social change in South Africa.

Mabaso said he presented the concept of climbing mountain Kilimanjaro, to help raise awareness for the need for sanitary towels for schoolgirls, to the Nelson Mandela Foundation in 2012. This was after he overheard a fearful conversation, between his mother and niece, about menstruation.

The climb was named Trek4Mandela to honour and celebrate Madiba’s legacy, on his birthday, as climbers summit on July 18.

This brought the start of Caring4Girls, a programme distributing sanitary towels to ensure young girls can go to school during their menstrual period.

Sibusiso Vilane, South African adventurer and motivational speaker, will be leading this year’s climb.

“There is a need for the provision of sanitary pads for girls in school. This shouldn’t be an issue in the 21st century so I decided to take the lead on this climb as I fully support the cause,” said Vilane.

Mabaso said the expedition to climb Mount Kilimanjaro has attracted over 110 climbers from South Africa and internationally, growing from just two climbers in 2012 - Mabaso and Vilane.

“The climbers are sending the word out, generating support on their platforms as well as through media. There is a need for not only for sanitary pads but also education and awareness,” said Mabaso.

Mabaso said the goal was to ultimately reach two million girls by 2020. Yase Godlo, Mandela Day manager from the Nelson Mandela Foundation, said 23 climbers will leave from OR Tambo International airport at 7am on Wednesday.

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