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AD/KCWC team aim for Kilimanjaro to mark HCT’s 25th year

With support from the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy and Mubadala Development Company, the Higher Colleges of Technology—Abu Dhabi and Khalifa City Women’s Colleges (AD/KCWC) are proud to announce that nine students and three faculty chaperones will set off this week for a charitable challenge to climb Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro.

In conjunction with their trip, which commemorates the HCT’s 25th anniversary year, the students have raised AED 40,000 for charity projects in Tanzania. The donation will be distributed with help from the UAE Embassy in Tanzania.

The students and faculty have been training since September to prepare themselves to climb Africa’s highest mountain. Rising to 5,895 meters, it is also the world’s tallest free-standing mountain.

As a group, the climbers-in-training have undertaken monthly challenges such as climbing Jebel Hafeet, hiking up and down stairs at the Zayed Sports City Stadium, and participating in the capital’s Terry Fox Run. Most recently they hiked together across and around Abu Dhabi’s new Hodariyat Bridge. Team members have also helped each other prepare appropriate clothing, gear, and—most important—footwear, for a trip to a place unlike anything in the UAE.

Climbing Kilimanjaro is physically very demanding. The air near the mountain’s summit has only half the oxygen of sea-level air. Trekking through five different climatic zones and camping out in temperatures ranging from merely cold to well below freezing would discourage most people from undertaking such an adventure. “I want to challenge myself,” said team member Amina. “And to show the world what Emirati women can do. Even a married Emirati woman like me can get support for an adventure, and make it happen,” she added.

In addition to fitness training to withstand the conditions, students have been raising money over the past months. “I want to help the poor people there (in Africa),” said team member Fatima. “We have been collecting money here, and we’ll give it to them to use there.”

To date, the team have collected AED 40,000 to be given to a charity that supports African girls’ education.

Her Excellency Noura Al Kaabi, a board member of the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, expressed the Academy’s pleasure and eagerness to support ideas that show a distinctive image of the Emirati female. “This initiative affirms Emirati women’s ambitions in all fields. Our responsibility centres on developing sports awareness and support in the community. We emphasize sports for girls, because they are the mainstay of evolution and development in the UAE community, and we will continue to play an active role in this process,” she said.

Dr. Jace Hargis, Director of AD/KCWC, expressed his enthusiasm for the expedition, saying, "We are all very supportive and proud of our students who have diligently trained and are ready to tackle this adventure. Learning abroad brings exceptional life lessons, and allows our students to both share their culture and connect with other cultures, which helps everyone create a holistic view on life.”

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