To celebrate his son’s golden birthday (he is turning 12 on the 12th July, 2012!) our president, James Smithers, and his son are climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money for the Amani Children’s Home in Tanzania, Africa. They have climbed in New Zealand and South America and are avid backcountry campers. Kilmanjaro stands at 19, 341 ft and is the highest free standing mountain in the world. They will be climbing on average 4-7 hours a day (the exception being the 12-14 hour summit day climb) through 5 different ecological zones from the bushlands of Africa to the glaciated, arctic conditions of the summit. The climb will last 8 days (6 days up and 2 down) and their adventure begins on June 3rd!
The Amani Children’s Home is dedicated to the protection of Tanzania’s street children and AIDS orphans. It is estimated that there are 2.5 million orphaned children in Tanzania alone. Amani provides a safe and loving home, nutritious meals, an education, and access to medical care for many homeless children in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania. Their staff makes sure that each child rescued from the streets is given love and attention as well as important life skills, restoring hope to their lives. Since its founding by Tanzanians in 2001, Amani has rescued hundreds of children from life on the streets, where they face a high risk of HIV transmission, malnutrition, and abuse.
James Smithers Snr., had this to say, “Both James and I felt strongly that we wanted to give back to Tanzanian people for having this experience. We also felt that whatever money we raise will go further to the direct, primary care of the children within a small, grass roots organization like Amani than it would in a big hospital here in the states.” When James Jr. was asked why he and his dad chose Amani he said this, “We have done a lot of traveling as a family to poor countries and I really just wanted to help the kids. We are very lucky here in the states to go to school and to be able to see a doctor when we need to. So many kids around the world are not as lucky, and are really fighting for their lives every day.”
They have set up a Facebook page called Climb For Amani 2012 where people can follow James Jr.’s training and preparation for the climb and make a donation if they choose. They are using Razoo.com to process donations securely online (people can click on the razoo button on their facebook page or go to their Razoo page to make donations) and have a fundraising goal of $5000!
If you are feeling in the giving mood please help our president and his son raise money for this worthy cause. Any donation helps and every dollar counts!