Seven young Nepali women have taken on the challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to promote education for girls, along with women’s rights. These women are trying to climb all seven of the world’s highest mountains, having already defeated Mount Everest, Mount Kosciuszko, and Mount Elbrus.
Supported by the United Nation World Food Program (WFP), Child Reach International, and other partners, these women started their climb in Tanzania in late February. For this climb, the women have also been joined by three African women.
With every mountain they conquer, these women hope to show the importance of giving girls a chance at an education. Many of these women have, themselves, faced challenges in their education.
“In Africa and Asia, young women and girls face barriers to education – early marriage and pregnancy, household duties, shortage of money for school fees, and a preference for sending boys to school instead of girls,” said WFP Country Representative Richard Ragan. “All the team members have had to climb their own personal mountains, overcoming challenges to attend school and get where they are today. We hope their determination will be an example to youth everywhere.”
WFP National Ambassador Against Hunger Hlubi Mboya added on, stating, “By staying in school and getting an education, girls can grow up to lead fulfilling lives and really contribute to their families and communities. Providing them with a daily school meal helps them grow strong and concentrate on their studies. I like to think each step we take up Kili will bring girls in Africa a bit closer to reaching their potential.”
These women also hope to break the gender stereotype in trekking. Junu Shrestha, one of the women climbing, said, ”We want to earn respect for all the women climbers in Nepal and elsewhere in the world. We want to raise awareness among the female community that girls are not always supposed to do regular jobs and get married. There is much more the world has to offer.”
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