FXU Team due to climb Mount Kilimanjaro

Becky Betteridge

On September 2nd, the FXU Climbs Kilimanjaro team will be embarking on an extraordinary adventure across the continent. They will be tackling the highest free standing mountain above sea level – Mount Kilimanjaro.

Located in the beautiful country of Tanzania this brave group will have a monumental four day climb up 5,895 meters of mountain terrain. The journey will certainly test agility, patience and teamwork. The terrain presents nothing more than obstacles. Steep inclines, jungle and slope glaciers cover Kilimanjaro’s crater plateau.  As if the tremendous physical strain in the 28 degree heat wasn’t enough of a task, the team will have the uphill battle (pardon the pun) of altitude. Of about 20,000 people who attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro each year, one third do not reach the summit, usually due to altitude sickness. Headache, nausea and dizziness are common side effects.

One might ask then, why put oneself through such physical and psychological strain? But the FXU Kili climbers are in fact fundraising for a wonderful charity called Dig Deep. Dig Deep was founded in 2007 by Jo Zeevi and Peter Fitzsimmons, who at the time were studying at Nottingham and Exeter Universities. Dig Deep is dedicated to improve access to water and sanitation by building taps and toilets in local communities. But taps and toilets don’t improve health and education, only using them effectively does, argues the charity founder, Jo Zeevi. This is why the charity trains leaders how to teach their communities vital information about how disease is spread. Dig Deep believes that education is the best way to end poverty. To change attitudes and behaviors surrounding water and sanitation stating “we do this by ensuring communities understand the technological choices available, and work with them to choose and construct those that are most appropriate to their own circumstances and needs”.

In this day and age, it is hard to comprehend that 16.5 million people don’t have access to safe water and over 30 million people don’t have access to adequate sanitation. Dig Deep is dedicated to re address this outrageous problem. Working together with the communities in rural Kenya they implement training and appropriate technologies to bring about sustainable improvements in health and education to surrounding populations.

In the past year the charity has helped create clean water supplies for communities of 10,000 families and 2,000 school children. A phenomenal achievement, I’m sure we would all agree. It is not surprising then that nine inspirational individuals have volunteered to fundraise for the charity. With a target of £2990 the group has been holding serval events around campus and in Falmouth itself including: bake sales, gig nights and pub quizzes. Collectively they have raised a staggering grand total of £11,000!

With only a small way to go they are still hard at work, organising football tournaments and a halls cleaning service. If you would like to track the group’s progress or are interested in taking part in tournaments, or simply donating, please check out their Facebook: FXU Climbs Kilimanjaro for Clean Water.