Fundraising and volunteering with Dig Deep has been one of the most memorable experiences of my life, and something I am proud to have completed.
I found out about the Kilimanjaro challenge in my second year of university, and thought it was an incredible opportunity so delivered the first major chunk of my fundraising during the Big Give event of 2021. This initial success only served to deepen my passion for the project, and although I had to defer a year due to a medical issue, I persevered and completed my fundraising in 2023.
I recently returned from Tanzania and can easily say the ascent to Uhuru Peak was one of the most challenging experiences of my life, both physically and mentally, but absolutely worth every second! I met some amazing people, dove into the local culture of Moshi, and completed the climb - all for the incredible cause of providing clean water, sanitation and toilet facilities to Bomet County in Kenya.
Trek2Kili (Kili Warriors!), was an excellent host and could not have done a better job of making us feel safe and well looked after on the mountain. You could go to our Head Guides, Andrew and Conrad, with any query and they endeavoured to find a solution; providing great food, morale boosters and aid wherever needed. Our group was in great spirits the entire climb, and we all came down feeling utterly in awe of the local team.
To end the trip was the final meal and tipping ceremony at Mweka gate before returning to the hostel for a party. The ceremony was deeply moving and powerful, and we all enjoyed giving back to the porters who had helped us so much during our climb!
For anyone feeling overwhelmed by the fundraising amount or unsure about whether they will be able to complete the climb, all I can say is go for it! Every little helps, and after the initial stage of donation gathering you can plan out possible events or sponsorships that suit you to gain more! You could even challenge yourself with taking an item or two to the top of the mountain in exchange for a donation or just for fun - I took my county flag of Devon for example, as well as the banner of my local rotary club and my university.
Overall, Dig Deep’s Kilimanjaro challenge - Climb for Clean Water - has been an experience I will never forget, all for an amazing charitable cause.