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13 November 2014

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Jo Thoenes at Nasio Trust Day Centre

Jo Thoenes at Nasio Trust Day Centre

Mountain High!

BBC Oxford's Jo Thoenes gets into training for an experience of a lifetime....climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the highest freestanding mountains in the world, towering 5,895m above the surrounding plains.  It has been the ambition of many a climber to conquer its snow capped summit whether it is as a personal challenge or in a bid to raise money for a deserving cause.

The Nasio Trust is about to lead its third expedition up the mountain, and Jo Thoenes has seized the opportunity to test her endurance as she follows the people who are preparing to take on the challenge. 

Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro

"I meet so many people on the show who have returned from adventures and come into the studios to tell us of about them.  It is incredible to think I will have the chance to experience one such challenge first hand, and eat, sleep and breathe it with other people from Oxfordshire".

In 2001, just outside Mumias, a village in rural western Kenya, Irene Mudenyo found an abandoned baby in a sugarcane plantation on her farm. The baby, apparently aged 4-6 months, had been left lying in a blanket and must have been there for at least two days.  ‘Moses’ as he was named, planted a seed that lead to the birth of the Noah’s Ark Day Care Centre.  Started in 2001 and located at Mumias in Western Kenya, it provides food, clothing, medical care and welfare for the children in its care.  Another one was started about 4 years later and named St Irene’s Day Care Centre after the woman who found Moses and based on her own farm in the village of Musanda. 

Children at Nasio Trust Day Centre in Kenya

Children at Nasio Trust Day Centre

Jo went to visit the centres ahead of the climb to better get an understanding of why people felt passionate enough to make the arduous climb, "Even though these centres are in a fairly isolated area of Kenya, there was this incredible feeling of unity.   On the two hour drive from the airport on the shores of Lake Victoria to Mumias where the projects are,  the poverty and devastation left by HIV/AIDS was evident.  Yet the positivity that emanated from the staff and the children was so humbling, the idea of a week of relative discomfort on the mountain seems like the least I could do to help with fund-raising".

Children in Oxfordshire have also been involved in raising money for the centres.  Operation Noah’s Ark has been set up by the Campus Youth Centre, in Berinsfield as a way of connecting the Kenyan orphans and children in this county.  In 2004 and 2005 a group from the youth centre travelled to Kenya and got their hands dirty by working towards the construction and decorating of the centre.  They learnt at first hand what it really means to be hard up, and it puts their own lives in perspective

Jo will uncover the stories behind the people involved with the charity and find out first hand what it takes to train and climb Mount Kilimanjaro, "‘Until now we have been left to our own devices to prepare for the climb.  I have been hitting the gym, going horse riding, cycling the Ridgeway’ - you name it.  From June and our first formal training weekend in Snowdonia, it will be a chance for us all to help each other, learn about each other and find out why we have each decided to challenge ourselves for the benefit of these children".

Updates on Jo’s training and her daily updates as she makes the climb will be posted here over the next 4 months.

last updated: 26/06/2009 at 13:17
created: 24/06/2009

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