May 19, 2022 by Sikh Entrepreneur
South Asian Women to take on the world’s highest freestanding mountain
In August 2022, Asian Women MEAN Business (AWMB), a UK based education and empowerment platform for South Asian Women, is bringing into fruition a history-making trip – to be the first group of All South Asian Women to take on one of the greatest challenges and climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
In just under three months, Rupinder Kaur, founder of AWMB, will fly out to Tanzania along with 14 other climbers, all British born with South Asian heritage. This is the first time EVER such an endeavour has been undertaken exclusively by an All South Asian group of women.
Reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro is not an easy feat. Its permanently snow-capped summit towers 5,895 metres above sea-level, four times higher than Ben Nevis, UK’s highest mountain. Climbing to the top is the equivalent of scaling Big Ben a staggering 61 times. The team will face weather conditions that are extremely variable and difficult to predict, camping in tents on bare mountain paths for six consecutive nights with the approach to the summit being especially demanding. Already exhausted, they will set off at midnight in oxygen-thin air for one final six-hour push. And as they head towards Uhuru Peak and the summit, they will be scrambling over loose boulders and along paths that are almost vertical at times.
Explaining her excitement at bringing a team together for the climb, Rupinder Kaur said:
“Climbing one of the seven summits is HUGE, especially when you’re doing it for the first time with a group of women! There are many reasons for assembling an exclusively South Asian group of women to undertake this climb.
Our foremost motivation is without a doubt that we want to show the world what South Asian women are capable of, above and beyond the typical stereotypes. We hope that this Kilimanjaro expedition provides an example to others of what is possible; that ultimately you CAN hit pause as an Asian woman, and seek personal accomplishment and adventure for YOU.”
To prepare for the challenge the team are undertaking extensive training including spending two days camping and trekking in the Surrey Hills, regular 14-mile hikes across the Chilterns and an overnight climb to Mount Snowdon’s summit yet to come!
During this challenge, the team will be joined by a film crew to capture and document this momentous journey. The crew will follow the group from training in the UK through to the climb in Tanzania. Award-winning documentary maker Rehmat Ryatt, who has won several awards for Toxification, will be partnering with the group to bring this to life.
The documentary costs, including equipment hire, filming, production, and screening costs, amount to circa £90,000. The intent is to raise this through a crowdfunding campaign and via sponsorship packages which could provide an exciting opportunity to promote businesses and organisations.
Details can be found on their GoFundMe page: https://gofund.me/197832f2
In the meantime, the excitement mounts, the energy is rising and the Countdown Begins!