Kilimanjaro Bucket List

Two Professional Women Raise Over $10,000, Encourage Others to Climb Africa’s Highest Peak

December 19, 2012 (Moshi, TANZANIA) – Many people talk about checking off bucket list wishes “someday”. Others seek ways to make a difference in the lives of others. Two women combined those goals and raised over $10,000 in December for orphans and youth while climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak at 19,344-ft. They’re encouraging others to do the same and join MAD’s Kili Climb for Education June 20-July 3, 2013.

Make a Difference, (MAD), supports quality educational opportunities for vulnerable children and youth in developing areas such as Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Tanzania’s economy is among the bottom 10 percent of the world, and more than 40% of its population is under 15 years old. Future MAD strategic plans include building a Youth Center to provide educational and social development opportunities for thousands of local children.

Lin Heffner, of Seattle, WA, and Leslie Prevish, of Darlington, PA, raised the money in just a month via an easy-to-use fundraising site. The donations will fund sport and health programs, such as swimming, HIV awareness and self-defense, as well as support gender equality programs to foster a more positive environment for young girls.

“I had planned to climb Kilimanjaro for several years and finally made it happen in 2012,” said Heffner, who most recently served as an Associate Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “It’s especially rewarding to challenge myself while giving back to others through MAD, a life-changing organization.”

The June 20-July 3 event will attract climbers of various backgrounds, young and old. MAD works with a local, experienced tour company that provides guidance and safe practices to make the challenging goal achievable.

“The entire crew impressed me with their keen focus on our wellbeing,” said Prevish, who has marketing experience at Harley-Davidson Motor Co and Trek Bicycles. “Their precautions made me feel extremely safe. And the experience brought me clarity on a few tough life decisions. I wish I’d gone sooner!”

Corporate sponsors for Lin and Leslie’s climb included GS Design, Hart & Galla,,Good Harvest Market and National Premium.

In addition to the Kilimanjaro Climb on June 20-July 3, 2013, MAD will host a University Tour in Tanzania in May, and a Machu Picchu climb in scenic and surreal Peru on September 1-8.

Make A Difference (MAD) is a certified 501(c)3 non-profit organization helping orphaned children through education and economic development at orphanages and schools. MAD funds orphans’ educations through university, while offering job skill training and income-generating activities. MAD strives to maintain local ties to former children’s remaining families and villages while keeping administrative costs to a minimum through utilizing volunteers and green, sustainable practices.

Tanzania’s economy is among the bottom 10 percent of the world. Over 40 percent of the people who live in Tanzania are aged between 0-14 years old. A high risk of diseases exists in the country along with the poverty situation which leads to Tanzania having a very young life expectancy rate and an infant mortality rate of 66.93 deaths/1000 live births. There are numerous schools in Tanzania. However, 75% of the children whom attend primary government school don’t go on to secondary school. They are taught in Swahili but their entrance exams for secondary school are in English. In order to make sure that more children graduate from primary to secondary school, MAD sends children to schools which teach English so that they may pass their exams and continue on to secondary school.

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