Next week, 20 Freedom Climbers hailing from the US, Canada, India and South Africa, are taking on the highest freestanding mountain in the world. They’re leaving their homes February 24, 2015, to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise awareness and help fund over 50 projects that are saving women and children who are enslaved and exploited. The actual climb is February 28 – March 6.
“We are everyday people climbing for the freedom of the 30 million enslaved, exploited and oppressed around the world,” said Freedom Climb U.S. Director Tina Yeager. “The Freedom Climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro is symbolic. It’s the highest freestanding mountain in the world, and its Summit, Uhuru, means freedom in Swahili. Our comparably small sacrifice of giving up our home comforts, vacations and time with family pales in comparison to the suffering of these people.”
Freedom Climb was conceived and launched by Californian Cathey Anderson. What started as a vision has become a global movement, with climbs all over the world.
“Human trafficking, slavery and exploitation are a worldwide epidemic,” says Anderson. “It’s a problem in our own back yard. We celebrate and support efforts to combat trafficking nationally and locally. Freedom Climb attacks the problem at the source – in countries where women and children are most vulnerable.”
Over their seven days on Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Freedom Climbers will face strong African heat at the base and, adverse, minus-20 degrees at the nearly 20,000 foot Summit. They will return home March 9 with many experiences to share.
“The Wasie Foundation’s and the Freedom Climb’s purpose is to be a voice for the voiceless; for those who cannot declare freedom in their lives and climb out of their circumstances on their own,” said Jen Klaassens, Vice President of Programs at The Wasie Foundation. “The climb is merely a symbolic gesture of what women and children around the world go through every single day. It symbolizes their arduous climb to freedom.”
The Freedom Climb has taken women to Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa, and Mt. Everest, Asia, to support their mission to end human trafficking. The Freedom Climb is a project of Operation Mobilization (OM), a Christian missions organization which supports at-risk women and children, specifically those who are exploited, enslaved, oppressed and trafficked. OM works with the most marginalized and least reached people in the world, with 6,100 workers from 100 nations, serving in 118 countries