LIMPOPO – The 42-year-old Thusani Mulaudzi from Shayandima summited Mount Kilimanjaro from 14 to 18 July as part of the Nelson Mandela centenary celebrations for #Trek4Mandela.
She said the purpose of taking on Mount Kilimanjaro was to change the lives of deserving girls who are underprivileged and in the direst of socio-economic circumstances as well as to raise enough money so they can have access to sanitary towels for a year.
The climb aims to raise money to purchase sanitary towels to help approximately 500 000 young girls from underprivileged backgrounds to stay in school.
She has nominated two local schools in the Vhembe district as recipients for donations. The schools are Edward Homu Secondary School and Tshiemuemu Secondary School.
“I chose those schools because I wanted learners from my province to get an opportunity to benefit from this worthy cause. I also wanted these girls to experience there are people out there who care for them and who wish them the very best. Every girl child will benefit by receiving sanitary towels from the Caring4Girls initiative,” she said.
She added this initiative will help to improve their performance at school. “When a girl child goes to school and their most basic needs have been taken care of, it gives them an opportunity to focus solely on their studies and performance without having to worry about issues such as sanitary towels. If a girl child does not have access to sanitary towels, however, her performance at school is affected as she may have to miss some school days due to her menstruation cycle. This is why participating in initiatives like #Trek4Mandela is important because we get an opportunity to be part of the solution to the problem of lack of access to sanitary towels,” she said.
She added summiting Kilimanjaro was the most exhilarating and exciting feeling ever. “It was tough on every level and tested my physical, emotional and psychological limits to the maximum. I also had to battle acute mountain sickness as well as having to climb with a lack of oxygen due to the altitude. I tried as best as I could to alleviate the symptoms of acute mountain sickness by staying hydrated and taking medication to alleviate the symptoms. All the challenges experienced were nothing compared to the excitement of having successfully summit Mount Kilimanjaro,” she said.