My head

The adventure of a lifetime; Kilimanjaro and Rafiki

February 15, 2016

rafiki mwemaIt is no secret that my heart has been torn asunder by the Rafiki Mwema girls. I’ve written about my first experience with them here, and again in The Weekly online.

I think about that Kenyan safe house, and the work they do, often. I think about my sponsor child, *Joy, with her eyes so dark and her little fuzzy head.

Joy is a year younger than my Kiki. She has endured more in her little life than anyone should ever be forced to. I look at my kids and can’t imagine what I would do if they were the victims of terrible sexual crimes.

How would we put the pieces back together?

I pray with all of my might that we will never need to know, but my desire to help put my Joy’s pieces back together is breathtakingly powerful.

When I heard of Rafiki Mwema  a light switched on inside me. I’ve always had great compassion, but this was different. I feel a deep connection for some reason. A refuge that takes in girls aged from 18 months to 14 years who have been the victims of horrific acts that no little girl should ever endure.

Caring for the girls is expensive because Rafiki Mwema pays all of their medical bills, court costs, school costs and living. Rafiki Mwema become their family in many cases because their family did not cherish them as a child ought to be cherished.

rafiki mwema

Maybe I fell in love with this cause because the passion of the people running the programs to help the girls understand what has happened to them and to process it is infectious, or maybe I just see that there is an opportunity for me to really make a difference.

I know I can’t change the whole world and all the crazy-assed shit that goes on in it, but if I pick just one cause and throw everything I can at it, maybe I can make a significant difference to just a small handful of people?

I’m turning 40 this year, and I wanted to mark it in some way.  Something that says “I made it and I’m ok.” I guess there was a few touch and go moments in there along the way. Some of the choices I made weren’t great. I haven’t always cherished myself, or chosen people that cherish me.

When I saw that Asante Adventures and Rafiki Mwema were joining forces to create a fundraising project that would change lives my heart started to beat faster. You know sometimes you hear of an opportunity and your heart just sings out “YES”, and your brain says “you can’t, it’s not practical, you have too many responsibilities.”

I felt a pull so strong that I knew I would move heaven and earth in order to be a part of it, so I’m telling my brain to beat it and I’m listening to my heart.

Safari Mwema

Asante Adventures and Rafiki invited people to raise money between now and January 2017 then fly to Tanzania to Climb Mount Kiliminjaro, before heading to Kenya to visit the Rafiki Mwema girls.

To visit *Joy.

That’s huge. That’s epic. That’s adventure. That’s 40.

Taking a couple of weeks away from my life will require some supreme organisation and help from others, but every fibre of my being is determined to make it happen.

I need to raise $2000 to be eligible to go. I pay my own way, flights and expenses, and every cent I’m sponsored goes directly to the girls and their carers. Every cent.

I don’t often ask for anything from you guys, I love writing for you regularly and sharing my life with you, but I’m asking for something from you now. If you could please spare just the price of a coffee, if all of you donated just the price of a coffee, then I have enough to give to Rafiki Mwema and be eligible to go.

This adventure will not only change my life, but it will change the lives of the little Rafiki Mwema girls. Girls like our daughters who deserve happiness and love.

You can go to my GoFund me page here and read a little more about it and chuck a few bucks my way. Your donation will be making a difference, and you will be helping me have the adventure of a lifetime.

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  • Reply adamjclements February 15, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Wicked Danielle. It’s a great cause and a great climb. Mahdi and I did it last year. But we didn’t raise any money or anything. We donated to an orphanage and to our porters and gave stuff away in villages. We swore we would go back with bags of shoes to give away.The mountain is challenging, breathtaking, dangerous and beautiful. And cold. And hard man. Especially the last bit. Good luck with the fundraising and trek. I’m happy to offer any advice on preparation ☺

  • Reply Zanni February 17, 2016 at 6:58 am

    So proud of you Hun. What an amazing thing to do. I love Sarah (a friend of mine) and all she does for those beautiful girls. You’ll have to say hi to *Macy for us!! We will be backing you financially and emotionally xx

  • Reply Want me to cook you and five mates a 3-course dinner? – Keeping Up With the Holsbys September 20, 2016 at 7:25 am

    […] I’ve written about how the girl’s safe house is helping change the lives of survivors of sexual crime here, and I’ve pledged to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in January 2017 and then go and stay at Rafiki for a few days to raise money for them here. […]

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  • Reply Staying afraid – Keeping Up With the Holsbys December 30, 2016 at 7:39 am

    […] After months of lead up, and hour upon arduous, strenuous and mostly boring hour of training, I’m actually skipping the light fandango today. At 10pm, I’ll be heading off to finally conquer this mountain-arse mountain that has inhabited my dreams for the last almost-year. […]

  • Reply The time I climbed Kilimanjaro - the beginning – Keeping Up With the Holsbys January 30, 2017 at 7:35 am

    […] of us were here for the same reason, however. All of us were here in the name of Rafiki Mwema, and all of us were here for a big, fat […]

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