Gavin Bate, owner of responsible tour operator Alternative Adventure, has grand plans for tourism on Mount Kilimanjaro. Not only has he launched Wanawake Tanzania, a programme for equitable employment of women guides and porters on the mountain. Gavin and a fellow mountaineering friend are in the final stages of organising a climb of Kilimanjaro with a difference, taking place next month.
Scaling the iconic mountain will be a team of women with albinism, a condition used as an excuse for extreme violations against the person in this part of the world. Albino men, women and children face deplorable human rights absuses, from everyday prejudice to torture and killings; so much so that and many people with the condition live in special safe houses.
The Mount Kilimanjaro trip will see a group of women with albinism climb the mountain, with a film crew documenting their steps for a broadcast planned for the U.S. and Canada. The group is led by spokeswoman Jane Waithera, an outspoken individual who not only campaigns for her rights as a person with albinism but also her rights as a woman, and will be assisted and guided by exclusively female staff.
We couldn’t say it better ourselves, so we’ll let the team behind the project describe it in their own words:
A climb like this has never been done before. The highest point in Africa is the platform we will use to shine a spotlight on this rare genetic disorder, the challenges people with albinism face and their strength and courage to overcome those challenges. This expedition will demonstrate the ability of women with albinism to lead, shine and be role models to members of their own community and around the world.
Find out more about this climb with a difference – and follow the action – on their website http://climbforalbinism.com.