When you have a childhood dream that still burns and tugs at your heart when you’re an adult, you owe it to yourself to pursue and achieve this dream.
To what lengths would you go to make your childhood dream become a reality? What would you do to make any dream become a reality?
By now most of you probably know that one of my biggest childhood dreams is to climb and summit Mount Kilimanjaro. I have spoken about it so many times, made plans on more than one occasion but it just never happened. Kilimanjaro was the fantasy place I escaped to, as an 11-year-old little girl, during the time of my childhood sexual abuse.
Well, guess what? It’s finally happening!
On Thursday 2 November 2017, I received this email from Richard Mabaso, Chief Executive Officer of the Umbumba Foundation and the Concept Innovator of Trek4Mandela and Caring4Girls. This annual Expedition aims to summit Mount Kilimanjaro on 18 July, Madiba’s birthday, raising funds to supply underprivileged school girls with sanitary pads and keep them in school during their monthly menstrual cycle.
WOW! You know what? You are just one of those precious and rarest GEMS we are constantly looking for to make meaningful change in South Africa – more especially in the life of the girl child.
Well, to answer your question… You couldn’t have come at a better time! The 2018 Centenary Climb will not only be our biggest year because of celebrating Madiba’s 100 Years but it will also be our first attempt to raise enough funds to support a minimum of 500,000 poor girls with sanitary pads – the largest target since inception of both Trek4Mandela and Caring4Girls in 2012.
So, we are not excited to have you but we are truly honoured that you chose us as conduit to bring hope in the life of the South African girl child. One of the most exciting part of our programme is that every climber is urged raise funds to support girls from a school of their own choice.
In the meantime, we will send you all Trek4Mandela information to help you start your preparation for one of the greatest expeditions for Mandela Day.
Many thanks and once again, we look forward to helping you make your dream of conquering the rooftop of Africa become a reality!
(shortened version of original email)
I am joining the Trek4Mandela Kilimanjaro Executive Climb 2018! Can you imagine my excitement?
Over the last couple of days, I have just been taking it all in, getting used to the idea of actually Climbing Kili For Kairo. Some of you will remember the blog that I wrote in July 2015, about my dream to climb Kili for Kairo (Kairo being symbolic and representative of all children in South Africa, Africa and the across the world). Kairo was only two weeks old at the time.
All of us are products of our childhood.
A teacher by profession, I have a passion for education, Early Childhood Education in particular. I also want to be instrumental in addressing Childhood Sexual Abuse, but at the end of the day, it does not matter which group of children will benefit. What matters is that we make a difference in the lives of our children, in education. What matters most is that we inspire courage and bring hope to the children, the future of our country.
I want to share the contents of my original blog, Climbing Kili For Kairo with you. It was published on 22 July 2015. I trust it will inspire you to keep your dreams alive and to spread the message of hope, courage and love.
Climbing Kili for Kairo
For as long as I can remember my biggest dream was to climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. I have imagined every detail of this adventure since I was in primary school. I have even planned and trained for it on a few occasions but I have never made it happen.
Why not? I ask myself … why has my dream not come true after all this time?
The answer is quite simple … dreams don’t come true by themselves. You need to set goals in order to turn your dreams into reality. I have always had the dream but I have never set a real goal to make my dream come true. Dreams are imaginary and can go on forever.
What will it take to turn your dreams into goals?
I have always made excuses for why I haven’t climb Kilimanjaro yet. I don’t have the money yet. I haven’t found someone who will do it with me. I want to do it with my kids but we need to find the time. I will do it when I turn 40. I want to do it for charity but I need to find the right cause. I will do it for my 45th birthday. When I turn 50, that is when I will do it … and so the years went by …
The truth is that I have just never made it a priority.
Two weeks ago when I held Kairo, my granddaughter, for the first time, I looked at her and the first thought that came into my head was … “I will climb Kilimanjaro before I turn 50, not for anyone but myself, because I want to teach you to have big dreams, set goals and see them through.
Since then not a day has passed without me doing something about my dream … I have set the goal to make the visions of my dream a reality. When you have a clear goal, everything else seem to fall in place. In less than two weeks I have decided that I don’t need anyone to do this with me. I am doing it for me and if anyone joins me it will be a bonus.
Dreams are free and they are easy. I needed a trigger to turn my dream into a goal. The birth of my granddaughter provided that trigger. Kairo has become my inspiration for achieving my goal …
I have also found a cause. I always knew what it was but because I was suffering from “excusitis” I found a way to avoid it .
I have a passion for Early Childhood Education and I want to make an impact in the education of children from 0-6 years in South Africa. I will climb Kilimanjaro to fulfill my dream and to benefit this group of South African children, who to me, is represented by my beautiful granddaughter, Kairo. #ClimbingKili4Kairo
What are the things I am considering during this planning phase, to ensure that I will achieve my goal?
Goals are about what you can actually accomplish. A goal is realistic if you truly believe that you can achieve it. Is this a realistic goal for me?
Goals require action … deliberate action and they need to be specific. I need to plan everything in detail and know exactly what it is that I want to achieve, how, when and with who. I need to focus and be consistent.
I need to set deadlines for achieving my goal, there must be a time limit in order to create a sense of urgency.
I will have to invest the time, money, effort and sweat. Goals are not free.
Awareness of the progress I am making towards the attainment of my goal, is vital. I have to measure my progress at regular intervals.
Goals must have a specific outcome. What do I want to achieve? How much money do I want to raise for Early Childhood Development in South Africa. How do I want that money to be used? How will the attainment of my goal impact the lives of South African children under the age of 6 years.
How will the achievement of my goal change my life? How will my goal stretch me, increase my skills, my abilities … will it change me forever.
Do you have a dream that you need to change into a goal? What will it take to make it happen?
So here I am, making actual arrangements and commitments to fulfill my childhood dream and it’s better than what I ever could have imagined. Not only do I get to climb Kili for a great cause but I am part of the Trek 4 Mandela Centenary Climb, celebrating 100 years of Madiba Magic!
I’m also celebrating my 50th birthday next year and the Trek4Mandela Expedition leaves south Africa on the 12th of July, the morning after my birthday. How incredible is that.
To top it all, my best friend Xavier Saer, has just been announced as the Official Photographer for the Trek 4 Mandela Kilimanjaro Executive Climb 2018 … I just have to say it one more time … my best friend Xavier Saer and I, are joining the Trek 4 Mandela Kilimanjaro Executive Climb 2018 Expedition! We are going to make an amazing team and I can’t imagine doing this with anyone else.
How awesome is that? It’s a dream come true and its going to be epic! The Universe has been listening and the stars are aligning.
I can’t wait to share the next leg of this journey with you. Thank you for your encouragement, love and support.
Never give up on your dreams
Childhood should be carefree, playing in the sun; not living a nightmare in the darkness of the soul.
I would like to thank my Lifestyle Partners AllTIMate, Brands Luv U, NueCleo, Beauty & Curves, The Brow Bar SA and Authentic Smile Dental for their contribution to this blog post.